Testimonials

Parents

As a parent, I have never seen my son so enthused. He was grinning from ear to ear, and could not wait to talk about what he had learned.
– Poway, CA
Our daughters Academic Connections experience was a great success and a wonderful introduction to college.
– La Canada Flintridge, CA
This is the best thing we can do for our children, prepare them for college.
– La Jolla, CA
The program turned out to be everything I hoped it would be!
– Las Vegas, NV
My son loved the whole relatively independent college environment. He was relieved to know that students are more accepting of others when they are given the opportunity to break free of their high school ways. He appears more confident and can hardly wait for college.
– Palo Alto, CA
Our daughter came home very excited about her dorm living, new friends and Marine Biology, a great opportunity for our high school student to have a college experience in a safe and nurturing environment. Thanks!
– Chicago, IL
Our son said he a had a great time and pronounced this summer was the best of his life, in no small part due to this program.
– Bakersfield, CA
Our daughter had a genuine college experience and she liked it a lot! UCSD is at the top of her list of college applications. The only downside, she wasn't enthusiastic about returning to two more years of high school.
– Sacramento, CA

Student Comments

The most valuable part of the leadership training was reflecting on how I hope I act versus how I act in reality. I found this reflection to be useful in planning to act more according to my values, rather than how I feel society and other people want me to behave. 
–Hannah (San Diego, CA)
I’ll be leaving Biosphere 2 tomorrow, but the friendships I have made are forever. I consider these people my family. I admire and look up to their curiosity and ambition to be successful. I could not have hoped to spend a week with a better group of people. 
– Jennifer (San Diego, CA)
I learned so much about myself and was even able to overcome my nervousness when presenting. This program has made a huge impact on me. I now have skills I can use for the rest of my life.
– Lauren (Torrance, CA)
The B2 GELS program is fascinating and I’m excited to see where our research will take my group. Could we come up with potentially a better watering system that provides more income for farmers? The scientific research we are conducting here comes from us, is done by us, and is new research that no one has seen before. 
– Natalie (Tempe, AZ)
Our last activity as a group was a “Thank You Circle.” I was able to go beyond reflecting on what about myself had changed, and instead reflect on how the people I had spent a week with made me change. Taking the time to notice their impact and share my gratitude for their contributions felt to me one of the best ways to conclude the program.
– Nika (Houston, TX) 
I am very grateful for taking this course because in addition to learning about the environment, I learned about leadership, group work, and self-reflection.
– Seth (La Mesa, CA) 
Today we went to the tide pools. There was a point in which I stopped moving as the crabs around my toes crawled around and I thought to myself about how amazing it actually is to be able to see these little organisms carry out their natural life cycle. It made me appreciative of the environment around me, and I feel this program has definitely enhanced that appreciation towards life from a broader perspective.
– Jackie (El Centro, CA) 
I’m both proud and spellbound by the amazing people who surround me at this program. The GELS students touched my heart, and I definitely feel a kinship with these people I’ve only known for a few days.
– Anlon (Irvine, CA) 
My initial doubt has now been replaced with a belief that I can truly be the change and be a voice for environmental issues many choose to ignore and discredit.
– Yahaira (Holtville, CA)  
My favorite part of being in this program is everything. Not only has this program taught me about the environment and being a leader, it has also taught me more about myself. I guess you could say it’s been a journey of self-discovery.
– Kortney (Irvine, CA) 
The UCSD GELS program was an empowering life experience during which, I learned about the environment, leadership, and, most impactful, how to lobby. Mahatma Gandhi said: "be the change you wish to see in the world". I now realize it could be the GELS motto. This revelation became apparent to me after my meeting on Capitol Hill. Today made me feel like my voice was finally being heard in the government. Hopefully, when I go back home, I will be able to convince people my age that our voices can and will be heard by our government and be the change we wish to see in the world.
– Miya (San Rafael, CA)
I’m incredibly thankful for this amazing opportunity that I’ve been given. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with an extraordinary group of people whose ideas align with my own, acquire the tools necessary for translating research into policy, and learned the importance of working together towards a common goal.
– Nelson (Willmette, IL)