Imagery of Regent people and campus

Youth & Urban Renewal Center Hosts Summer Academy

By Brett Wilson | August 14, 2013

UYSA student participants.
Photo courtesey of University Marketing.

"College is knowledge, and knowledge is power," said Regent University president Dr. Carlos Campo as he rallied the participants of the third-annual Urban Youth Summer Academy (UYSA). "You heard it from me first; I want you at Regent."

And so it would seem, as the group of more than 50 rising sixth graders from Jacox and Campostella Elementary Schools gathered at Regent's campus each day, wearing bright green fluorescent shirts—reading, "Future Regent Students."

This summer's camp for rising sixth graders in Norfolk, Va. was presented by Regent's Youth & Urban Renewal Center (YURC), in cooperation with many partners in the local community.

Students from Jacox and Campostella Elementary Schools gathered at Regent and Norfolk State University's campuses July 15 through August 1. During the three-week camp, participating students took part in activities such as tours of local college campuses, simulated college-level courses and games to prepare students for the Standards of Learning tests.

Each of these activities was geared toward encouraging students for successful futures in the world of academics.

"We want to see what these students will become, and we are convinced that they have what it takes," said Dr. Antipas Harris, School of Divinity assistant professor and founding director of YURC. "We want them to be prepared for middle school, high school and beyond."

Throughout the development of the summer academy, Harris stands firm in his belief that rising student leaders are living in the midst of the Norfolk community. This realization brought Marcus Jones, Norfolk city manager, to sponsor 40 students to attend the academy this year.

"I do believe in each and every single one of you," said Jones. "But I don't just believe in you, I need you."

Jones, while addressing the camp's opening event, expressed how important it was for the students to be encouraged to continue their education after high school. Micah Harris, volunteer for UYSA, also stressed this point, as she encouraged each of the camp participants to pursue their dreams and areas in which they possess "smarts."

"You all have multiple intelligences—and that's really important," said Harris. "You're not just smart because you pass your SOLs, or because you're good at math. Each of you is gifted in unique and special ways."

This year, the students demonstrated their talents for writing as they participated in the camp's essay contest. Each of the students was asked to write an essay regarding their experience with UYSA, and explain how the summer academy helped them grow as students.

"This program helped me to become a better person," said Jyrah Silver, UYSA student from Campostella elementary school. "And I learned that you should never give up on your dreams because you're tired."

Each of the contest winners were awarded gift certificates to an office supply store to buy items for the upcoming school year. Upon their departure on the last day of camp, all participants received backpacks full of important items for middle school such as scientific calculators, protractors and USB devices.

Learn more about Regent University's Youth & Urban Renewal Center.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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