Summer Bridge Reflection

Before the Ferry Ride to Tangier Island

The Summer Bridge program was for sure an experience that I will never forget; from the new people I became close with, to the teachable moments and to the knowledge I learned that opened my eyes, those two weeks shaped how I will spend my next 4 years at Longwood. My time at Hull Springs Farm made me appreciate all the work that goes into educating not only students, but also the general public on issues occurring around us everyday that could go amiss to the naked eye. I never knew how important oysters are to our bay or that the rising water levels would soon submerge a whole island; these impactful facts hadn’t been presented to me before. With my Life STEM cohort, we were taught to observe the unnoticed around us, and then to reflect on how one problem affected everything connected to it. It was a different style of teaching I hadn’t been exposed to, but it made me realize how beneficial this way of thinking would influence my future. The Summer Bridge program made me excited for the research projects to come in class and the ways we’d work together to think up all possibilities. It showed me what was in store in down the line and gave me a taste of what being a true scientist is like. The STEM program introduced me to the people and programs already working to bring change to our Chesapeake Bay, and fueled me with the same energy they have. I had an amazing time diving into the different culture of Tangier Island, getting different perspectives on the rising water level and exploring what the future meant for them. Learning about the necessity of oysters and the how the Bay can be changed through public awareness made me thrilled to be a biology major because I get to be hands on with helping. Asides from the academic benefit of the Summer Bridge program, I also made some close friends that I share almost all my classes with. This picture is before a very long ferry ride to Tangier Island, a historic community that will be beneath water within 100 years. Not only did I make lifelong friends while on this trip, it was a unique experience many won’t get to enjoy. I am forever grateful for the opportunities and friends the Summer Bridge and Life STEM program have made possible for me.