Blog #5: Five Winds Blow if the Big House Program was your favorite part of your summer

This is probably the easiest blog prompt for me to write. The core of my internship this summer was planning for Part One Generation VII of PILOT’s Big House Program, a UM outreach program designed to help underrepresented minorities throughout their application process to the University of Michigan. This year, our two-day program consisted of Common Application assistance, essay writing sessions, a tour of the Big House, and an abundance of bonding time (among much more). This is my second year volunteering for the program and it was much more fruitful being a part of the PILOT Summer Committee and watching everything unfold after the work we put throughout our internships.

The program itself is my favorite part of the internship for one reason: youth engagement and advancement. On the engagement side, bonding and getting to know Generation VII felt like meeting new, future Wolverines. From my experience last year with Gen VI, I became good friends with many of that generation after their acceptance to UM. Connecting with another generation truly felt like I was extending a warm invitation to our PILOT family. Focusing on the advancement side, I felt like I was helping make a difference-even a simple one-in the college process of these rising high school seniors. Over their stay, I made it clear to the ones I was able to interact with that while they were receiving a lot of resources and information from different offices on campus, that I was also a resource. It’s sometimes easy to point to other resources and let the students figure it out from there, but knowing that I’m a personal resource for these students by editing essays, guiding them through the admission process, and helping them connect with people on campus, etc., really makes the BHP experience a rewarding one. All in all, providing reassurance to these students that are coming from first-generation, minority, or under-resourced backgrounds that they have a team of students behind them to support their process into the University of Michigan was by far my most rewarding experience this summer.

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