Grant provides summer mentoring at UConn for promising high school students


Storrs, CT – Five Fairfield County high school students interested in pursuing science and technology careers are attending the UConn Mentor Connection program this summer, thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

The students come from Bridgeport, Trumbull, Shelton and New Canaan, the scholarship recipients will spend three weeks this month living at UConn’s Storrs’ campus and working closely with faculty mentors in their areas of interest.

  • Brianna Collins from Shelton High School will work in Deborah Fein’s Psychology lab on a project related to understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Destiny Colorado from Bridge Academy in Bridgeport, Isabel Marshall from New Canaan High School, and Demi Rodriguez from Central Magnet High School in Bridgeport will work with Tim Hunter on projects being developed in the Digital Media and Design Center.
  • Benjamin Vu from Trumbull High School will work with Robin Bogner on a project focused on developing pharmaceutics.

“Mentor Connection has a remarkable record of helping high potential/low-income students pursue their dreams of matriculation to four-year colleges and universities,” said Joseph Renzulli, director of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, which oversees the program.

During the program, participants take on the role of scholar and practitioner by working on real, ongoing projects at the university. They also get a taste of college life by living in dorms, eating in dining halls and getting to know other talented, motivated students from around the state and across the country.

UConn Mentor Connection was founded in 1996 and more than 70 students from Connecticut and six other states will participate in this summer’s program, working with mentors in 24 different areas across the university. Each year, the program strives to provide scholarship support from a variety of sources for students to attend, ensuring that no student’s financial circumstance prevents participation.

“When students complete the 18-day experience, they return to school in the fall intellectually and creatively energized by their time spent on the University of Connecticut campus,” said George Moran, guidance counselor at Central Magnet High School.

The program is entering it’s third week and ends on July 25.


Linda Lambeck