Summer Bridge Academy helps Valley students get ahead

FRESNO, Calif.

In mid-summer Fresno City College is bustling with students including those attending The Summer Bridge Academy.

Fueled by a $5 million grant from U.S. Department Of Education, recent high school graduates are sharpening math, reading and English with an eye toward enrolling in a four year university.

"We get to experience college before anybody else and I see that as advantage. I'll kinda know what to expect, how the school runs how it works." Rebecca Jimenez had good grades but knew she could do better.

The 6 week program upped her reading and writing skills. "I know now that when I read stuff or write stuff that it's probably going to stick with me."

Wednesday morning the Summer Bridge students were delivering their last essays. Adrian Martinez chose to write about his favorite mixed marshal arts fighter.

Like Rebecca, Adrian did pretty well in high school but admits not as good as as he could have. "I thought that reading was pretty straight forward but there are some things you overlook and you can still learn. So even though you're an adult it doesn't mean you know everything, you're still learning stuff."

The six weeks taught them the ins and outs of a college campus and drove home, that as young adults it's their job to study, work hard and make the most of it. "If you want to get out into the real world and do what you want to do you're going to work hard because your paying for that education and not everybody gets an opportunity to get it.

The Summer Bridge Program may be over for this summer but the grant money will last for the next four years.

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