Written By: Natalia Gallimore
Are you an incoming minority freshman interested in creating a bond with people from different cultures, building up your social, academic, and analytical skills while getting a sneak peek of campus life before the fall semester starts? Then, the University of North Florida Intercultural Center for Peace has an opportunity for you. The Quality for the Ultimate Educational Success Today (QUEST) program is a university summer scholarship program dedicated to providing an enriching environment for incoming minority freshman.
In this program, accepted students can get to know the university’s campus through interactive activities coordinated by the Intercultural Center for Peace, like scavenger hunts, campus tours, and many other fun activities. Students can also build up writing and math skills essential for school, grow through character building sessions, as well as attend lectures presented by various guest speakers from the university and the outside community. Some university organizations and services include the Interfaith Center, Greek Life, Career Services, Student Government, the African American Student Union, Muslim Student Association, and One Stop Services. Students who commit to this program by attending the required days, shall each receive a $500 scholarship at the end of the summer program.
I am now a third year University of North Florida student, and I have to say this scholarship program served as the foundation for my success at this university. I participated in the QUEST program two years ago, and at the beginning of the program I did not know what to expect in a university classroom, and I was not really good at managing my time. Taking part in this program allowed me to get use to university life before the fall semester, and the academic seminars provided me with tips for note taking, goal setting, organization, and time management.
QUEST also helped me refine my social interaction skills. By interacting with the different ethnicities and cultures within the QUEST program, I learned the importance of community. This program also taught me the importance of campus involvement and because of QUEST, I launched head first into my college career with confidence. The program helped me create my perfect college path, and I am very grateful that I had such an amazing opportunity.
To apply, students must be minority students accepted to the University of North Florida for the fall or summer semesters. For the application they must include a high school transcript, two letters of recommendation and an essay explaining how they can benefit from a college education, and they also must be a resident of the state of Florida. Check the University of North Florida Intercultural Center for Peace website for specific details on the deadline for the application.
To this day I am still using my QUEST skills to build a better future for myself, and my community. I volunteer as many times as I can with the Intercultural Center for Peace, and other university organizations. I believe that this program will help many more students find their path in college.