A Girl’s Life documents the aspirations of Sonia Luna ’13

Bates Summer Scholars Program
At Bates, we know that we must cultivate future scientists from a wide range of backgrounds in order to flourish in a diverse and complex world in which science and technology play a pivotal role.

The Bates Summer Scholars Program is an accelerated introduction to the sciences and math at Bates College. Open to ten entering first-year students who demonstrate an interest in science and mathematics, the program seeks to build a community of science scholars from among a diverse group of incoming first-years, including first-generation college students and students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences.

Bates Summer Scholars spend six weeks on campus in the summer preceding their first year at Bates and take two college courses for academic credit. One course focuses on mathematics; the other is a lab science course.  Taking two courses before the fall semester begins gives Summer Scholars an introduction to math and science at Bates in a low-enrollment, seminar setting, and gives them more flexibility in their academic schedule during their first year. The program is rigorous and challenging, but students find that it is an amazing opportunity.
Grace Coulombe teaches Great Ideas in Mathematics.
A lecturer in the Mathematics Department and the director of the Mathematics and Statistics Workshop, she teaches a variety of math courses, including Calculus I and II, introduction to statistics, Great Ideas in Mathematics, and Introduction to Abstraction. As director of the Math Workshop, Grace works directly with students seeking help with mathematics, and she trains student tutors. Grace is a veteran of the 2007 and 2008 Bates Summer Scholars Program. Of the 2007 Summer Scholars Program she says, "I enjoyed every minute of the program. You really get to know each student you work with every day. It was great to work with students who were engaged every single day; that made class time really fun."

Students are shown in the computer lab in the Imaging  Center in Coram,  from 1-2:30pm doing peer critiques of posters.
The teaching assistant is Hong Nguyen '11, white tshirt and glasses.
Jen Rioux , in gray shirt, is a rising senior at Edward Little High School. All other summer scholars are Bates Class of 2013.
Aubrey Joseph (AJ) Hill, with Bates sweatshirt
Angel Pena, brown tshirt
Tara Prasad, glasses, destiny tshirt
Phi Nguyen, striped oxford shirt
Trinh Nguyen, garnet Bates tshirt
Olivia Romeo, white tshirt
Sonia Luna, Bates tshirt with glasses
Kaira Cody, black and red sweatshirt
Gabe Borland, black tshirt, dark hair (probably not shown)
Akinyele Akinruntan, black sweatshirt

A Girl’s Life, a PBS documentary by researcher and author Rachel Simmons examining the challenges facing young women growing up in the 21st century, features Sonia Luna ’13 during her senior year at The Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem, N.Y.

The story follows Luna as she applies to Bates and other colleges, striving to become the first in her family to attend college. Ultimately, Luna selects Bates because of a generous need-based financial-aid package, one that was made possible because she and Bates officials communicated effectively regarding her complex and changing residency status. Her story is the focus of Chapter 5, “Transitioning to Adulthood,” which begins 17:20 from the end. View or purchase the entire PBS documentary A Girl’s Life.

Excerpts from A Girl’s Life: Sonia’s story


Video courtesy of Powderhouse Productions.

View Comments