ASU Prep Digital West Campus Experience

By: Eliza R. – 9th Grader at ASU Prep Digital

Going to college is a big goal for most high school students, but it can be nerve-racking with all the unknowns. However, with the help of the new ASU West Experience program, 20 students have been able to set foot on to a college campus to figure out how to navigate and prepare for college, while learning about opportunities in different college degree programs that will help us as we consider our future careers.

Last week, we learned about the qualities of an effective leader from Professor Duane Roen. We participated in a fun writer’s workshop activity where we wrote about our qualities as an effective leader, how we obtained them, and what additional qualities we would like to gain. I was very personal with mine because I wanted to reach the root of why I am the way I am. After the workshop, we took a fantastic tour of the Natural Sciences department, where we explored several labs with the Dean and Associate Dean of ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Many of the students loved seeing the different organisms, like the butterfly ray in a jar of glycerin. One student said, “It was really exciting to see all the different labs, and the equipment and materials in them. I found the preserved animals in the basement lab really interesting and was fascinated by the technology in the genetics lab.”

Speaking of exciting and interesting experiences, our next activity was creating a vision board with pictures from magazines that depicted qualities about ourselves and depicted our future goals. I found much of my inspiration from our student DJ’s music; she had great taste. I enjoyed showing my creative art skills in this project, which had images and words of mental and physical healthiness. When reflecting with another student in the program, she shared, “I really enjoyed the vision board project! It really helped me visualize my goals and thoughts about this year!” 

After people shared their vision board, we headed to the ASU West Comm Lab, where we are working on our first project to create a “pitch” video to share with our peers and ASU Faculty about what makes us unique, our goals for our future, and expand on our leadership qualities. This was a challenge for myself and other introverts, but it gave us the opportunity to  overcome our fears. We went to the recording studios to record our initial pitch videos, and practice our communication skills and styles we have been learning about. I stuttered and umm’ed, but I cannot wait to continue to grow my communication skills in the ASU West Comm Lab. 

I believe I speak for everyone when I say that this program is helping me grow as a person, and I cannot wait to see what it has in store for the next couple of weeks!