Incoming freshmen throwing water balloons at one another.

Summer Launch Offers Exciting Beginning for Incoming Freshmen

HBU Academic Success Center’s Summer Launch is a mixture between summer camp and boot camp, helping orient incoming freshmen to the work and fun that college life offers. About a month before school starts, new Huskies are invited to a week on campus in which they stay in dorms as first-time University students. The days are chock-full of peer mentoring, academic workshops led by faculty and staff, as well as games and outings. It’s all designed to launch students into a successful freshman year and beyond.

Summer Launch began four years ago as an outreach to students identified as especially needing the boost. In 2017, the program extended to all freshmen. Sophomore Emily Hernandez attended Summer Launch that year. The Sugar Land native wanted to stay close to home and go to a faith-oriented school; her high school counselor mentioned HBU and she never looked back. “I didn’t know what to expect, but Summer Launch was a great experience,” she said. “I built so many friendships and learned so much.”

This year, Hernandez was back, this time as one of 10 student mentors who each worked with a group of about five students. “I believe that Summer Launch really shaped me,” she said. “I wanted to give that same experience back.”

Sergio Rivera was one of the new students who participated in activities ranging from capture the flag to time management training. “This week you get to know a lot of people,” he said. “I really like a small school, and the attention that students receive is personalized academically, spiritually and socially. I’m going to be in the Honors College and the part that has me most excited is the challenge.”

This fall, Summer Launch introduced a brand-new program that provides launchers the opportunity to continue their bridge relationships by enrolling in IMPACT, which stands for Innovative Mentoring Program Achieving College Transformation. IMPACT is a yearlong mentoring program designed for students who want inspiration and guidance. It is for students who are especially focused on their academics, and was developed to help them be more confident about continuing their education, applying for scholarships and accomplishing their goals.

“We are thrilled to see Summer Launch continuing to be innovative and growing to meet our students’ needs through IMPACT, in partnership with the First-Year Success team,” said Margaret Humphreys, director of the ASC.

Student mentor Raven Towns, who is mentoring for the second consecutive year, said Summer Launch teaches students how to implement study skills, plan around a syllabus, access resources and more. “The way I guide students is by answering any questions with the help and tips they need,” she said. “HBU has become a second home to me. Everyone is so nice and caring. They want you to succeed, and they give you the tools and resources that help you build your own path to being successful.” Visit HBU.edu/ASC to learn more.

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