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FLP Students Use Summer Break to Prepare for College

June 27, 2023 – Although many high school students prefer to spend their summer relaxing, 45 Future Leaders Program (FLP) students spent a week of their summer vacation receiving intensive academic training and preparing for their college admissions journey. The FLP is a academic and leadership development program run by the Brewer Foundation in partnership with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), St. Mark's School of Texas, The Hockaday School, Greenhill School, and Episcopal School of Dallas.


The "College Readiness" Summer Camp, which ran from June 12th to June 16th, was attended by rising 9th through 12th grade FLP students. The camp took place on the campus of St. Marks School of Texas and ran daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


This summer, the FLP staff added several new courses to the summer line-up, including Financial Literacy, Exploring College Writing, and Debate 101.


The Financial Literacy class covered topics such as taxes, credit scores, investing, insurance, and budgeting. Taught by FLP teachers Felicia Morris and Joseph Ibarra, the class was featured on NBC5 in Dallas. The news report focused on a class in which Ms. Morris taught students how to budget by playing a game that involved monopoly money, envelopes, and a “cash stuffing” notebook.

In the Exploring College Writing course, upperclassman learned how to create and write a personal statement essay using storytelling techniques through poems and reflection of their personal stories. The staff members who worked with the seniors and concentrated on college preparation were Aaron Jackson, Rozana Rojas, and Veronica Pulido.


The Debate 101 course was a new addition for all grade levels and taught by David Baker, who guided St. Marks School of Texas to victory at the 2014-15 International Public Policy Forum (IPPF) competition. The goal of this course was to inspire FLP students to form a team to compete in the 2023-24 IPPF, an international high school debate contest sponsored by the Brewer Foundation and New York University.

FLP students also spent time off campus. On June 14, the FLP students traveled to Denton, Texas, where they toured the University of North Texas (UNT). Each grade level had their own tour guide to show them around campus and answer questions regarding academics and life at UNT. After the tour, the students enjoyed lunch with their peers at the UNT dining hall.

On Friday, June 16, the FLP hosted an inaugural “Back to Camp” alumni panel, where graduates of the program discussed life in college and their career aspirations. This allowed students to ask questions and receive advice from former FLP students.

The panel included former FLP student Maria Hernandez, who taught a course at this year’s summer camp for the second consecutive year. Ms. Hernandez, who is currently pursuing her PhD in higher education at the University of Arizona, taught the Mindfulness course. The course is designed to help students dive deep into their identity and discover ways to handle difficult conversations.


The FLP campers closed out the week at Main Event in Plano, where they played arcade games, bowled, and enjoyed pizza with their peers as a reward for all their hard work.


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