Freshman Monica Buress says she probably wouldn’t be at BGSU if it weren’t for Summerbridge Dayton, an innovative, academic-enrichment program for underserved eighth- and ninth-grade students. President Mary Ellen Mazey helped bring the program to Wright State University while she was the dean of the College of Liberal Arts there.
“I always feared not being successful, but with programs like Summerbridge it helps you to realize more of what you can do,” Buress said. “It wasn't so much that I didn't want to go to school; it was more of being afraid. But today I'm happy it was around.”
Summerbridge provided students with academic enrichment, tutoring and mentoring, test-taking skills, and cultural activities designed to prepare them for access to and success in college.
“Dr. Mazey worked tirelessly to help obtain funding and to this day still remembers many of the programs,” said Pat Jones, a project coordinator at Wright State who served as the program’s director.
Jones said she was thrilled to realize that with Mazey being the new president of BGSU (Jones’s own undergraduate alma mater), “many Summerbridge grads would be able to connect with her. I immediately contacted the students and informed them that President Mazey was responsible for Summerbridge at Wright State and encouraged them to make an appointment with her.”
“There are four former Summerbridge students at BGSU— Clarence Jackson, a junior from Trotwood; Seanice Reynolds, a freshman from Dayton; Taran Kimbrough, a junior from Trotwood majoring in political science, and Buress. President Mazey has met with all of them to hear about their experiences and how they like BGSU.
“I’m very proud of them,” Mazey said. “When I first met Monica, she didn’t even know how to get to downtown Bowling Green. She was so busy studying she hardly left campus. I’m so pleased all of them chose to continue their education here at BGSU.”
Buress, who is majoring in nursing, called her experience “wonderful.”
“I learned a lot about myself and others. The program allowed me to look at my academics and education more in-depth, and also to get ahead of everyone else.”
“Wright State was the first campus I’d ever been on,” Kimbrough said. “Summerbridge made me think about what it might be like to go to college and to start considering it at a younger age. When I came to BGSU to visit, I could just see myself going here.”