July 19, 2012
The Athletic Department here at Florida State University just wrapped up their seventh annual Summer Bridge program. Summer Bridge is a weeklong, new student-athlete orientation that aids in bridging the gap between high school and college. It is an introduction to a new life chapter in academia, athletics, and social lifestyle. There were 32 new student-athletes and 19 student-athletes who served as mentors to the newly arrived Noles. These student-athletes represented sports like Football, Men and Women's basketball, Soccer, Men's and Women's Track and Field, Baseball, Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving, and Golf.
Some of the highlights from the week were the student-athletes going on a "bus- tour" of Tallahassee and ending up at Funstation, a bowling night at Crenshaw Lanes on the Florida State campus, and a game night. Other highlights came on a more serious note. In helping the transition from high school to college, Jennifer Santiago, Assistant Athletics Director in Compliance, and Brandi Stuart, Associate Athletics Director in Student Services, had mock lectures, financial, academic, and social speakers, as well as character building and wise-decision making situations.
This year, the Summer Bridge Mentors took it upon themselves to teach the new Noles about money management, time management, and campus life. The Mentors put on an hour-long presentation for money and time management as well as setting up a mock scholarship payment to teach the new Noles how fast money can be burn if not managed properly. Finally, the Mentors show off the beautiful buildings and campus Florida State has through a Scavenger Hunt with clues leading them back to the Moore Athletic Center.
Last but not least, and probably the highlight of the week, is the community service project. This year, the Summer Bridge participants had the opportunity to cook and serve the Big Bend Homeless Coalition. The menu consisted of lasagna, garden salad, garlic bread, and brownies for desert. The student athletes had a blast cooking in the kitchen and preparing the food. It was truly heartwarming seeing the smiles that the new FSU student-athletes put the guest's faces.
The Florida State Athletic Department wants every new student-athlete to get off to a great start and help them be successful. Summer Bridge is a key element to achieving that success. With the help of a great staff, student-athlete mentors, and student-athlete participation, Summer Bridge 2012 was a success. The Florida State Athletic Department looks forward to watching these new Seminoles grow in to superior men and women, on and off the field.