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Summer Bridge Provides Smooth Pathway to College

Summer Bridge Provides Smooth Pathway to College

Posted: August 21, 2019

Buffalo State freshman Natalie Maloy (pictured) said she feels more confident about starting her college career on August 26, after spending just a few days on campus as part of the college’s 2019 Summer Bridge Program August 19–22.

Maloy is one of 170 first-year students enrolled in Summer Bridge, now in its second year. The program provides general-admission students with a jump start to college.

“Prior to coming, I felt confused about a lot of things” said Maloy, a communication major and graduate of West Seneca West High School. “Even after just two days, I feel more prepared. I learned how to use Blackboard and schedule my classes for spring, and I’ve gotten to know other students.”

Funded through a SUNY Performance Improvement Fund grant, Summer Bridge is part of the college’s Student Achievement Programs under the Academic Success umbrella. It offers participants several benefits, including 1 free college credit for the fall semester, a match with a peer mentor who provides yearlong support, and sessions on making a successful transition to college. There are 14 peer mentors this year. All programming is free to students.
For residential students, Summer Bridge provided the chance to move into their residence halls on August 18 versus the traditional move-in day of August 22.

Maloy, who relies on her service dog, Diamond, to help her with mobility and anxiety issues, said having the opportunity to get a handle on campus technology, explore the physical campus, and move into her dorm room early reduced uncertainty for her.

“The kind of activities we offer enables students to be better prepared for the entire college experience once classes begin,” said Ashley Martin, director of Buffalo State’s Student Achievement Programs.

Drayton Collins, a childhood education major from Kenmore, is a peer mentor who was inspired to interview for a spot with Summer Bridge after her positive experience with the program as a freshman. Collins now has nine mentees she looks forward to working with over the academic year.

“I really love helping people,” she said. “It makes me happy, and it’s a step toward a career in education.”

Jacob Fleuricot, a sophomore theater major and resident adviser, started working as a peer mentor his freshman year. That experience compelled him to get involved as a mentor with Summer Bridge.

“I enjoy working with students—helping them get involved on campus and on the right path,” Fleuricot said. “I also want them to have fun so that the transition to college is easier.”

See more photos from the 2019 Summer Bridge Program on the Buffalo State Photography Services website.

Photos by Bruce Fox, college photographer

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