Dream Camp: Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Inspiring Children to Dream Big about College

Trinity’s Summer Program for Hartford Area Children Marks 17th Season
HARTFORD, Conn., July 29, 2014 – As July winds down and a sudden appearance of back-to-school reminders announces the arrival of August, the final week of Trinity’s Dream Camp summer program for area children and teens is here. The 250 campers and 75 Dream Camp staff—including several Trinity College students—who take over much of the campus for five weeks each summer are making the most of these last few days of the program, which marks its 17th season this year.

The chief goals of Dream Camp are to enhance out-of-school educational opportunities for Hartford’s children, develop confidence and academic skills, improve success in school, and build interest in pursuing higher education. Jada Lewis, who is 17 and entering her senior year at CREC Public Safety Academy in Enfield, can attest that those goals—and more—are being met.

Lewis began attending the summer program at the age of five and this year is part of Dream Camp’s MIT (Mentor in Training) program for high-school age campers, funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Last week, along with about 25 other MIT participants, she soaked up a session on the college application and admissions process. Meanwhile, younger campers were busy elsewhere on campus, involved in summer reading, arts projects, swimming lessons, and health and recreation programs. At both ends of the age spectrum, summer at Dream Camp means getting serious about pursuing one’s dreams for the future.

​Jada Lewis and
Jay Fazzino '14
Held in McCook Hall Auditorium, the admissions discussion was kicked off by panelists Kim Bornstein (Dream Camp day camp director and assistant director of admissions at the University of Saint Joseph), Mandi Haines (Trinity’s associate director of admissions and coordinator of international recruitment and financial aid), and Paul Assaiante (Trinity’s world-renowned men’s squash and tennis coach and the Paul D. Assaiante Professor of Physical Education). Each touched on a range of ways to prepare for a college search, both in terms of how students must challenge themselves at high school and in terms of homework to be done in order to determine schools they want to apply to. Members of the Dream Camp staff, including recent Trinity graduate Jay Fazzino ’14, also took turns sharing their own experiences and advice related to the college search and application process.

Fazzino—who majored in neuroscience, minored in the classical tradition and legal studies, and is headed to law school this fall—talked with students about the approach he took when heading into admissions interviews at Trinity and other schools. “It’s important to hit on your strengths, but also talk about ways you’ve addressed your weaknesses.”

The campers listened intently throughout the discussion, including when Assaiante asked, “Do you want to know why I went to college? It was because my guidance counselor told me I wasn’t college material … And that lit a fire under me!”

President Joanne Berger-Sweeney stops by an art class to meet the campers.
Dream Camp is funded through the generosity of the Bank of America Foundation, Charles Nelson Robinson Fund, Fisher Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, NewAlliance Foundation, Travelers Foundation , Versa Products, and alumni and parents of Trinity College.

                  View more Summer 2014 Dream Camp photos here and here.