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Celebrating 30 years of youth enrichment

Enrichment Studies Unit enters milestone year offering youth a sneak peek at university life.

For the 30th consecutive year, the Queen’s campus is buzzing throughout the spring and summer with programs led by the Enrichment Studies Unit. ESU provides programming for youth in grades 7-12, aimed at providing them with an inside look at the opportunities available to them in post-secondary education.

“As a teacher for over 20 years, I saw firsthand the positive impact the ESU program had for so many of my students,” says Linda Lamoureux, Outreach Coordinator for ESU. “I am proud to be a part of this program which challenges students academically, develops them personally, and inspires them with an exceptional Queen’s University experience.”

Students take part in a chemistry class during the Enrichment Mini Course, which gives students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to experience university life. (Photo Credit: ESU)

The beginning of May saw the successful completion of the Enrichment Mini Course (EMC) week for students in grades 9-12.  During the remaining weeks of May, students in grades 7-8 have the opportunity to take part in Seven Eight Enrichment Days (SEEDS) – which consists of on-campus activities designed to offer a glimpse at university life. Students enroll in classes in a range of disciplines, including art, business, engineering, law, medicine, and programming among others.  From Tuesday to Friday afternoon, participants take in realistic lectures and hands-on learning opportunities led by Queen’s graduate students and faculty. For those wishing to try the full university experience, a residence option includes accommodations in one of the on-campus residence buildings as well.

Many students who enroll in the EMC and SEEDS programs return for the full-week Summer Enrichment Experience at Queen’s (SEEQ) or ESU’s Leadership Training Program (QuEST). The week-long SEEQ program in mid-August provides an even more immersive pre-university experience, with course material designed to challenge and inspire students.

The QuEST program, directed towards students entering grades 7-10, offers three levels of leadership and communications skills development training to help students succeed in academics, extracurricular activities, and in the working world. ESU also offers an Enrichment for Educators program, which provides classroom technology and STEM education programs where teachers and community educators have the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge.

ESU attracts nearly 1,800 students each year to its range of programs – many of whom return in the following years. ESU participants who decide to enroll at Queen’s often return to work for the program. A testament to the lifelong impact of the program, a number of ESU staff first became involved in the program as student participants.

“I first became involved in ESU in seventh grade and can still remember how excited I was by the opportunity,” says Sam Martin, ESU Office Assistant. “The program instilled in me that I could accomplish anything that I put my mind to. When the opportunity arose to return as a staff member, I was thrilled to have a chance to pay it forward to the next generation of students. Our overarching message to students is that postsecondary education is something obtainable and which offers a wealth of opportunities.”

For more information on the programs offered by the ESU, please visit the website.

ESU participants pose for a group photo in front of Victoria Hall. (Photo Credit: ESU)