For most first-time ANSEP students, spending two weeks on a college campus with students from around the state can be an intimidating experience. That is exactly what Cameron Westlake thought when applying for Middle School Academy as a seventh grader.
“I remember my math teacher handing me a flyer about ANSEP, and I took it home to talk about it with my mom,” Cameron recalls. “She said it would be a great opportunity, but I had mixed feelings about it and didn’t want to go at first. But after I got there, I was glad I did it. It was exciting all the way through the entire two weeks.”
That moment stuck with Cameron as he went on to complete three Acceleration Academy sessions. Set to graduate from Bartlett High School in May, he has his sights set on ANSEP’s Summer Bridge component before diving into an electrical engineering degree, which he is hoping to earn at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Cameron has college credits from taking college-level courses during Acceleration Academy. He says he is prepared for what’s next and it all started with that first experience at Middle School Academy.
“I feel like I’m ready for college now, and that’s because of ANSEP,” Cameron said. “For students thinking about joining ANSEP, I would tell them to just go for it. Throughout the ANSEP program, it feels like you are with family. You take classes and study with your peers, there is always someone there to help you. It’s very welcoming and beneficial for anyone who wants to participate.”