Catching up with Summer Program alum Chiara Harris

As many of the learners from our Readiness Institute Summer Program know, our connection doesn’t just end after the summer. We continue to stay in touch with learners when they go back for their senior year, after they graduate high school, and beyond. We recently checked in with some of the young adults who were a part of the inaugural cohort of the Summer Program in 2021. They have now graduated high school and are on to their next steps of adulthood. This series will feature several of our Readiness Institute Summer Program alums to see where they are now, hear about their favorite memories of the summer experience, and collect any words of advice for their fellow alums!

Chiara Harris

Chiara HarrisWhere are you now?

Right now, I am a first-year student at Penn State Greater Allegheny majoring in psychology. I am currently looking into some of the various clubs on campus to see which ones I would like to participate in. Outside of school, I am in the AmeriCorps and Boys and Girls Club Positive Action Program, where I teach about positive action at the Duquesne K–8 school.

How has your life changed since the Readiness Institute? 

Before the Readiness Institute, I was not sure about what college I wanted to go to. I didn’t really think about the academics and the social life of college. When we toured Penn State Greater Allegheny with the Readiness Institute, it made me realize how I would enjoy going to a smaller campus, knowing a lot of people on campus, and feeling like a community. I’m grateful for the Readiness Institute for opening my eyes to find the best fit for my future.

How did the Readiness Institute prepare you for where you are now?

It helped me put myself out there more socially. I am not really a social person. In high school, I was not a very social person. The Readiness Institute helped me change that, and my cohort helped me get better at personal and professional interactions!

What is your favorite memory of the Readiness Institute?

My favorite memory is when we were outside and doing the tours of the colleges and various businesses. What I enjoyed most about the Readiness Institute is that we weren’t just at the Penn State Center Pittsburgh the entire summer. We were able to see a lot of the Pittsburgh area through various field trips, and I was able to see a lot of what the region has to offer!

See all Summer Program blog posts