As a junior at Bethel Regional High School, Ray Daniel already has four ANSEP components under his belt and also has earned credit toward his undergraduate engineering degree through the University of Alaska. Ray is an alumnus of ANSEP’s Middle School Academy and Acceleration Academy, but he enjoyed his time in STEM Career Explorations most.
“STEM Career Explorations was probably my favorite because it was more hands on and more in depth into the engineering topic,” Ray said. “We are given class choices within science, technology, engineering and math, and ANSEP shows us how they are all connected.”
Ray has another year of high school to complete but began taking college-level courses during Acceleration Academy last summer. He feels prepared for college and the coursework that comes along with it.
“I wasn’t ready for college at all, but ANSEP helped me a lot with what to expect after high school and preparing me for what college classes really look like,” Ray said. “My college courses last summer gave me a good idea what the work load will look like, and my time in Middle School Academy made me comfortable with a college campus. It’s nice that ANSEP allows us to do those things early rather than finding out right out of high school.”
In addition to college readiness, Ray appreciates the comradery within the ANSEP community.
“I’ve made a lot of friends all over the state,” Ray said. “It’s nice because we are all into the same things so no one feels left out. Looking back, my favorite memory was spending weekends together with students and staff as a family.”
Ray plans to continue with ANSEP as long as possible. He recently applied for Acceleration Academy again and plans to apply for Summer Bridge once he graduates high school. He has plenty of time to finalize his major, but he is definitely on the right path for earning an engineering degree.
“I’m leaning toward civil or mechanical engineering,” Ray said. “I’m really into math – it’s my favorite and strongest subject. I know I want my career to have something to do with math and science, be hands on and probably outdoors.”
Ray’s advice for students looking to get started with ANSEP is to stay with the program as long as possible!
“I would suggest staying with ANSEP, especially if you’re looking in the STEM field because ANSEP will help you all the way through,” Ray said. “Not only do they help with the education side, but there are ANSEP alumni and staff to support you with anything you need.”