After Janessa Joseph’s first ANSEP component, she was hooked. Since completing Middle School Academy in 2013, Janessa has participated in three Acceleration Academy sessions and now has her sights set on a fourth. Currently a junior at West High School in Anchorage, Janessa sees Acceleration Academy as a way to master her math skills and participates in as many sessions as possible.
“During a summer of Acceleration Academy, I take a college-level math class. Then, when it’s time to go back to school, my high school courses are much easier to understand,” she said.
Even though Janessa makes it look easy, she said she was nervous to attend her first ANSEP component. She remembers thinking how two weeks seemed like a long time for her first overnight camp away from home, but eventually the fear subsided when she started making friends.
“I met two of my best friends during ANSEP,” she said. “One is from Kenai and the other is from Dillingham, so the only time we get to see each other is during ANSEP.”
Looking back at her Middle School Academy experience, Janessa said, “There is nothing to be scared about because if you’re struggling there are always people there to help you. I remember I needed a lot of help at first, but people would help me all night if I needed it.”
The next summer when it came time to participate in her first Acceleration Academy, which entails five weeks away from home, Janessa found a little extra encouragement from her mom.
“My mom reminded me how I didn’t want to come home after the two weeks of the Middle School Academy so I knew I could get through it,” she said. “I made even more friends during Acceleration Academy, and the time goes by pretty quickly.”
Up next for Janessa? She is looking forward to Summer Bridge in the near future and potentially attending the University of Alaska Anchorage to earn a degree in civil engineering.