Enthusiastic Reunion of SHINE Students

Testimonials of clarity of purpose, greater confidence, and friendship dominated the reunion of the 2017 Summer High School Intensive in Next-Generation Engineering (SHINE) program this past Saturday.

“I hadn’t been sure what I wanted to do, but spending a summer in SHINE made me realize that I want to study biomedical engineering.”

“I’d say I am an introvert, but being in SHINE helped me to gain confidence in sharing my ideas. Now my high school has me as one of the lead public speakers, and I realize it’s valuable to have a voice.”

“After doing research in an aerospace lab, I realized I’m more interested in math and coding than in building, and now I’ve been accepted to USC as an applied math major.”

“I’ve stayed in touch with my professor and Ph.D. student mentor. The professor wrote me a letter of recommendation for colleges, and I’ve applied only to schools that have a Materials Science major.”

“SHINE absolutely gave me something to write about in my college essays and I talked about it during college interviews. It really helps.”


These are just a few of the comments made by alumni of the 2017 Summer High School Intensive in Next-Generation Engineering (SHINE) program available through USC Viterbi. Out of last year’s class of 26 high school students ranging from sophomores to seniors, almost one third showed up this past Saturday to see one another face-to-face. Many of them have kept up with one another via Instagram, Snapchat or Slack, but because they live in wide-ranging areas of the Southland – from Diamond Bar to to La Canada – it was good to see each other again in person.

Many of the graduating seniors are still hearing back about their college applications. Each year, at least one or two SHINE alumni enter USC’s first-year class, majoring in the field they were immersed in during their SHINE summer. Some of the younger students, rising juniors and seniors, think about coming back, and one is already accepted back into Dr. Adam Smith’s environmental engineering lab for a second summer.

Parents attended the reunion alongside the SHINE students, and they were equally enthusiastic as their children about the impact of SHINE. One parent claimed that his son transformed from not knowing what he wanted about most things, not just school, to being decisive about most things. Another talked about how her daughter looked forward to going to the lab every day. Most parents noted how even commuting to USC helped the students mature.

SHINE is now recruiting for its 2018 summer cohort. A dozen families attended the Information Session last Saturday and were able to meet the SHINE 2017 cohort while learning about the academic and social aspects of SHINE.

We're excited to introduce the graduating seniors to SHINE alumni from earlier years who now attend universities throughout California and the east coast. And we look forward welcoming the new cohort of SHINE 2018 on June 18.

Published on February 26th, 2018

Last updated on March 27th, 2018