Welcome to the ANSEP family!

Flora Andrews

July 22, 2015

Anchorage, Alaska

For many kids, the summer after high school graduation is a time to take a break. However, for those involved with ANSEP’s Summer Bridge component, the summer after graduation provides an opportunity to prepare for their future and take advantage of a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Flora Andrews, South Anchorage High School graduate, is one of 25 students from across the state who is currently participating in paid internships with one of ANSEP’s strategic partners. Before beginning her internship with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Flora spent five weeks immersed in calculus 1, a college course she needs in order to earn her degree in computer sciences.

“I like math more than most people,” Flora Andrews said with a chuckle. “This fall I’m taking calculus 2 at UAA. I love coming to ANSEP because here, everyone is a math nerd and loves what I love. When I get here I just think to myself, ‘Yes! I’m home!’”

ANSEP has been Flora’s home for the past four summers – one as a Middle School Academy student, two as an Acceleration Academy student and now as a Summer Bridge student. However, this summer is unlike the others. Flora is stepping out into the real world and taking on her first internship. Working in the USFWS Office of Subsistence Management, Flora is learning graphic and outreach techniques as well as issues surrounding Chinook salmon in Alaska.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have this internship. I told ANSEP about my interest in graphics, and they placed me in an internship that is the best of both worlds – science and computer graphics! I’m really looking forward to the experience and all that I’m going to learn.”

In addition to preparing for a future in STEM, Flora is also continuing to familiarize herself with the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) campus, where she will begin taking classes this fall. Does she feel like she is prepared for college? Absolutely.

“I feel like college is going to be easier than high school, and I can’t wait to get started! I’m ready because ANSEP helped me. The students, staff and even the building itself played a role. They are here to help me with anything I need and have shown me what college will be like. Without ANSEP, I wouldn’t be registered for school, I wouldn’t know my professors and I wouldn’t know what to expect. They have truly helped me realize what I want to do with my college career and with my future.”

Flora plans to stay in Alaska after college and find a job that combines graphics and computer engineering.

“I want to do something related to animation, even if I’m not the one doing the drawing. It would be cool to learn how to make them move or create a program that brings pictures to life on the computer screen. ANSEP helped me figure out that this is what I want to do with my life. I may not know how to solve every problem in the world, but I know how to approach it and that I can find a solution. With that, I know I’ll be successful with whatever comes my way.”