University Hosts 900 Summer-School Students From Local High School
Story by Doug Carroll
Photos by Darryl Webb
GCU News Bureau
About 900 summer-school students from nearby Alhambra High School visited the Grand Canyon University campus on Monday to hear from representatives of the University and from a speaker who challenged them to confront their own prejudices and work for justice in the world.
After touring campus in the early morning, the students and 140 Alhambra teachers and parents convened inside GCU Arena, where they were welcomed by Stan Meyer, GCU’s chief operating officer.
“Congratulations to you for committing to this program this summer,” Meyer said. “Perhaps this will be a summer of discovery and of setting goals and aspirations.”
The students, seated in the Arena’s north end, also heard from their principal, Claudio Coria, who talked about changes that have been made at Alhambra to extend the school day and the academic year in the interest of academic progress. He noted that more than two dozen students from the school will enroll at GCU in the fall.
“In the past, the expectation for four years of high school was graduation,” Coria said. “We have a new standard now. Our new goal is that you will be prepared to continue on to a college or university.
“Our job (at Alhambra) is to make sure you are ready with the hard skills. Some will say, ‘College isn’t for everyone.’ And it is your decision to make as students and families. But it provides opportunities, and that’s what I wish for all of you.”
Joe Veres, GCU’s new director of K-12 academic outreach, and Arlin Guadian, an alumna who now works in a staff position for the University and is the current Miss Arizona United States, also spoke briefly before the students were addressed by Calvin Terrell of Unitown, an organization that coaches students on how to be more inclusive and accepting of diversity.
Terrell, 42, identified five types of people — cowards, thugs, soldiers, rebels and warriors — and encouraged the students to aspire to be warriors.
“That’s who I’m striving to be,” Terrell said. “Warriors have a sober mind, heart and spirit. There’s one guarantee in life, and that’s death. When I face my death, I’d like to be remembered as a warrior, someone who was kind and not cruel. If today was your last day, how would you be remembered?”
Through a series of simple word and visual games, Terrell exposed the insidious nature of prejudice and how it is learned across all cultural and social groups.
“You have inherited a world that’s in pain,” he told the students. “Do better than we did. Work for justice…. If you’re not confronting the poison of prejudice daily, then it’s killing you.”
Contact Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].