Champlain completes second Imagine College program

July 18, 2013 | Brendon Johnson ’16 | Champlain News

Imagine College, a summer program at Champlain College finished its second year hosting 25 high school students from Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. The program is designed to help youth continue through to their high school graduation and set their sights on going to college. The program taught students a variety of new skills across the various disciplines a school or university may offer.

A commencement program capped a week of activities that included exploration into game programming, art and animation, health sciences, digital forensics, and writing, all taught by Champlain College faculty, who volunteered their time.

The commencement speakers included Vt. State Rep. Kesha Ram, Mayor of Burlington Miro Weinberger, and Champlain College President David F. Finney. All three shared the importance of college and their own unique experiences in school. Finney, the first person in his family to go to college, noted he was also expected to continue work on his family’s’ farm. “I wanted to be somebody,” Finney explained, adding that everyone can be somebody if they are willing to do the hard work to achieve their goals.

Using skills the high school students acquired during their time at Champlain College, groups of the students offered reflections about their experience at Imagine College through poetry, skits, and media presentations.  During the week, participants learned about opportunities in Education & Human Studies, Business, Information Technology & Sciences, Communications and Creative Media, social media and leadership.

For many, being part of the Champlain College program was the first step in a potential college experience.  “If you want to go anywhere in life, go to college. It costs more and more but in the end it is worth it,” said 16-year-old Morgan Murray from Burlington High School. He took the business track during his stay at Champlain College. “I really connected with the mentors on a professional level and on a social level, Murray said, adding he would recommend the program to anybody considering going to college.

Ame Lambert, Imagine College’s program facilitator and chief diversity office in Champlain’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), said she was proud of the accomplishments of the students who completed the program. She hopes to continue to grow the scope of the program in coming years.

Fifteen high schools were represented during this years’ program. From Vermont, Burlington High School, three students; Winooski High School,  two students; and one student each from Middlebury Union High School, Essex High School,, Hazen Union High School, South Burlington High School, Enosburg Falls High School, and Blue Mountain Union High School.  From Massachusetts, Madison Park High School, had four students and one from Lawrence High School.  From New York, Fredrick Douglass Academy II had five students. From New Jersey, North Brunswick Township High School had one student.

The program in its current structure is offered at no cost thanks to funding from the Hendrickson Family Foundation, Jim and Andrea Crook, and Elizabeth Steele.

About the Champlain College Office of Diversity and Inclusion: The Office of Diversity and Inclusion helps Champlain’s increasingly diverse community to engage in educational, social and inclusive practices with the goal of helping all members of the community to have a positive experience and to foster successful outcomes. Learn more about the program and diversity initiatives at Champlain College at or contact Lambert at or (802) 860-2784.

Since 1878, Champlain College has provided career-focused education to students from its hilltop campus in Burlington, Vt. Champlain’s distinctive educational approach embodies the notion that true learning only occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain offers traditional undergraduate and online undergraduate courses, along with online certificate and degree programs and eight master’s degree programs. Champlain offers study abroad programs at its campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review’s The Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition. Champlain was named a “Top-Up-and-Coming School” by U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2013 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit


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