Elon Academy scholars present at National Research Conference
Two high school students from the Elon Academy traveled to Charlotte for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference where they did a poster presentation on their research on how intersections of social location such as race, class, gender and sexuality can produce barriers to and opportunities for college access.
Mariam Lopez-Rosales (Cummings High School junior) and Vidal Morales-Santos (Graham High School junior) were accompanied by Elon University junior Molly O’Brien, an anthropology and creative writing major, and Darris Means, associate director of the Elon Academy. Their presentation, “Findings in a Participatory Research Project on the College Barriers and Opportunities for Underserved High School Students,” revealed the results of a yearlong research project.
The two students, along with 11 other scholars in the Academy, worked on the project with Mary Alice Scott, Elon Academy research associate throughout the 2010-2011 academic year. The research project culminated in the publication of a book and photovoice art exhibit, Speaking Out: Underrepresented Students Challenging the Inequities of College Access.
Launched by Elon University in 2007, the Elon Academy is a college access and success program for academically-promising high school students with a financial need and/or no family history of college. It combines a month-long residential program over three successive summers with follow-up experiences during the academic year. Elon Academy staff work closely with advocates from all six high schools, River Mill Public Charter School, as well as Alamance-Burlington School System staff to identify, select, and support these bright, highly motivated, local students who dream of a college education. Support for students continues through their college graduation.