The Bridges Summer Experience

Hi! My name is Amaya Kender and I am a senior majoring in Exercise Science with a concentration in physical therapy, class of 2023. Coming into college, I was experiencing excitement, anxiety, nervousness, yet courage. I was ready to take on a new chapter in my life to build upon my future. However, it was not until my Future Flash Day when my entire plan changed.

Amaya posing with a squirrel statue

Upon my arrival at the Kent Student Center, my parents and I met Daniel Nilsson, the Director of the Office of Diversity Outreach and Development. He was very welcoming and emphasized that I join his Bridges program. He explained that this program would start in the summer coming into my freshman year of college, where I would be able to take college credit classes while living on campus at no expense.

This should sound ideal, but at the time, I was not interested because I wanted to have my last summer of “freedom” before college. However, my parents had other plans and I am forever grateful that they brought me to complete this program.

My Bridges experience is one that is forever engraved in my memory.

It is the foundation of my success as a student. This program allowed me to get my feet wet when it comes to being a first year and first-generation college student. It taught me how to balance school life, social life and to become more independent.

Amaya posing with friends at a club fair

Though these are all fantastic aspects, it was challenging. Completing courses in five weeks seemed impossible at first, but I am pleased to say that I succeeded with grades that I am very proud of. A few on-site activities that were very enjoyable were painting the rock, meeting with Kent State University Police Department, meeting different faculty members, going to Blossom Music Center for a live play performance and making memories with everyone in Bridges. 

Something that stood out to me the most throughout this entire program was the amount of support from the faculty, tutors and other students in the program.

We all leaned on each other and built friendships that will last a lifetime. If it was not for the Bridges program, I would have struggled finding my way around campus, learning how to make connections and succeeding as a student overall. 

The Bridges program is a program that I highly recommend because it gives students the experience of college life, new opportunities, connections and really shows what it is like to be a successful student at Kent State University. Thank you to everyone who helped with the program, and a huge thank you to the director, Daniel Nilsson, for challenging students to be the best version of themselves. 

Admissions Student Blog

POSTED: Sunday, March 5, 2023 08:39 AM
UPDATED: Saturday, May 18, 2024 06:46 PM
Amaya Kender