38 high school students complete DREAMBIG Academy
Thirty-eight Nebraska high school students participated in the DREAMBIG Academy July 21-25 at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Hosted by the College of Business, the summer program helps underrepresented youth open doors to future opportunity. Rising seniors learn more about the world of business and potential career paths. The program emphasizes leadership, networking skills and the development of talents and strengths.
“DREAMBIG Academy allows the attendees to feel like a college student,” said Mark Barrera, assistant director of recruitment technology at the College of Business, who leads the academy. “They can experience residence-hall life, attend different academy classes and eat in the cafeteria. They meet other college students who serve as mentors during the academy so they can ask questions and get candid answers from a peer. They also talk to community and college leaders and learn about different majors. Most importantly, they find out what going to college is like and know it is possible.”
Since the academy began in 2012, more than 300 students from more than 40 cities and 65 high schools have attended. Nearly 75 percent of participants have gone on to become first-generation college students, and 73 percent have become Huskers. The students are also drawn to the host college, with 65 percent choosing business majors.
All academy participants qualify for the Nebraska Emerging Leaders Scholarship of $2,000 if they complete the program and meet academic requirements during their senior year of high school. The academy is free for students through support from donors and sponsors.
Students graduating high school in May 2021 can be nominated for the next DREAMBIG Academy through an online form. Learn more or nominate someone for the experience.
Following is a list of 2019 DREAMBIG Academy participants by hometown. High schools are listed in parentheses when they differ from the hometown.
- Bellevue: Chloe de Jesus (Papillion-La Vista), Rogelio Lopez (Papillion-La Vista South), Chelsea Nderu (Papillion-La Vista South)
- Cozad: Jackson Lighthall
- Dorchester: Joshua Thompson
- Falls City: Luke Schawang (Falls City Sacred Heart)
- Geneva: Alexander Matthies (McCool Junction)
- La Vista: Marissa Barraza (Papillion-La Vista South), Vankhanh Dao (Papillion-La Vista South), Isai Maldonado (Papillion-La Vista South), Julian Paniagua (Papillion-La Vista South), Halle Reafleng (Papillion-La Vista South), Kylee Reafleng (Papillion-La Vista), Ann Vu (Papillion-La Vista)
- Lexington: Maritza Calmo-Martin, Alexis Hernandez, Nayely Quiñonez, Gabriela Ramirez, Jacqueline Ramos-Gonzalez, Julia Romero-Esquivel, Jessica Virgilio-Francisco
- Lincoln: Olivia Nelson (Pius X)
- Madison: Yesenia Torres
- Omaha: Yanilse Aguilar (Ralston), Lazaro Contreras (Omaha South), Nyagoa Deng (Papillion-La Vista), Ido Hassan (Omaha Northwest), Jeffrey Hernandez (Omaha Northwest), Caleb Hill (Papillion-La Vista South), Lauren Lewis (Omaha Central), Yamilett Ramirez (Omaha Westside), Julian Valle-Dominguez (Omaha South)
- Papillion: Jose Felix (Papillion-La Vista South)
- Waco: Wanyu Luo (Nebraska Lutheran)
- Wakefield: Stacy Gallardo
- West Point: Brithany Cervantes (West Point-Beemer), Jasmine Stinson (West Point- Beemer)
- Wood River: Jack McCoun