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Posted: 07/23/2007

HEOP/AOP Hadley Mountain Hike: New Vistas

Note: photos by Kris Qua

Members of Skidmore’s Class of 2010—enrolled this spring through the College’s highly regarded Higher Education and Academic Opportunity programs—hiked nearby Hadley Mountain on July 14. It’s an annual rite of passage for these students who begin their college experience with the July Summer Academic Institute.

The state-mandated program is designed to prepare pre-freshmen for college life, initiate the process of building academic skills, and orient them to the support services available through HEOP/AOP and Skidmore. It emphasizes academic challenge and achievement. Live-in residential staff and professional tutors help the students through both academic and social transitions, and faculty and professional staff teach the courses.

There is also a healthy dose of off-campus fun: barbecues, bowling, roller-skating, outdoor adventures, and concerts. The Hadley Mountain hike is always a highlight, in part because many of the students have never experienced the rigors and joys of an Adirondack hike.

Many HEOP/AOP upperclassmen stay on campus to assist with the Institute. Li Quach, a 2005 graduate from the Bronx, was one of them. Says Li, “HEOP was our first link to the Skidmore community, the first place to form friendships. After freshman year I was more on my own. That’s one reason I stayed and worked in the summer program. It’s fun, especially the weekend activities.” She fondly recalls the Hadley Mountain hike: “It’s really hard, and people think they can’t do it. Then they do. We really open their eyes to what’s possible!”