The premiere of the 2022 REP4 National Convening September 22 highlighted ideas from high school students around the country who shared their ideas on how to make higher education more equitable and accessible to their peers.
Jordan Bernal, a Grand Valley student from Victoria, Texas, watched the premiere during a screening party with other students and university leaders in President Philomena V. Mantella’s office. He had been part of one of the first REP4 student cohorts in 2020.
“Seeing what we did in summer 2020 turn into something like this, and to see it grow, and keep growing is exciting,” Bernal said after viewing the program. “Being a part of it the whole way makes me feel proud and honored.”
The premiere was the culmination of a year’s work by student designers and their mentors. Over the summer, Regional Summits held at five REP4 Alliance member campuses brought together hundreds of high school learners to teach them design thinking skills. Those groups then put those skills into practice by developing ideas for more equitable pathways to higher education.
Mantella told past REP4 participants who had gathered in her office for the viewing that she hoped they learned the importance of elevating voices not often heard while also creating a network that would serve them beyond their college years.
“Reach out for help if there’s any time along the way that you feel like, ‘I’m overwhelmed,’ or, ‘I can’t solve this problem on my own,’ because you have a network,” Mantella told the group. “Part of REP4 is about having a network. I still have a network of people I go to when I need support.”
Pitches for education prototypes from students who had attended REP4 Regional Summits at Amarillo College, Boise State University, Fort Valley State University, Grand Valley and Shippensburg University can be viewed at the REP4 Convening website.