Parents’ Perspectives

What effect does SSP have on students? No one knows better than their parents. These comments are from 2016, summarized by this word cloud:parent-quotes-2016

I believe we are not the first parents to tell you that SSP has been beyond exceptional for Alberto. He says he has felt, for the first time in his life, what it means like to be surrounded by kids “like him” and to experience feats of the mind and of the body which have kept him brimming with joy for six weeks straight. He has made incredible friendships. He tells us that it is impossible to explain precisely, but we do understand, and are so happy for him and thankful to the program. -Adele and Romano Mosconi, parents of Alberto Mosconi

As parents, we have pondered, researched, and evaluated summer activities for our son, whether it be employment, internship, or academic experience.  SSP is heaven sent to all students who are high achievers, have an interest in science, the stars (and asteroids)…  Our teen has never been on his own for more than a weekend, so five and a half weeks is brand new for our family.  This was the first time he did laundry.  During and upon return from SSP, he shared his enthusiasm for the program, the lectures, interaction with faculty, teaching assistants and students.

SSP does a very good job at describing what the students will experience.  What is especially rewarding is the personal relationships that are built up, the individual personalities and their quirks, dreams, backgrounds, strengths, and amazing talents, both in the science arena as well as the arts and athletics.  -Douglas Chin, Sr. and Grace Chin, parents of Douglas Chin

Sarah had a remarkable experience at SSP. I expected her to be immersed in intensive study, and that certainly was her experience and, as such, she learned a tremendous amount, not only about math, physics, and astronomy, but also about perseverance and the depth of her inner strength. While Sarah has participated in academic programs each summer since 7th grade, SSP was unique in extreme intensity, which I think was a good thing as it forced her to grapple with grit and determination to an extent that she hadn’t before.

I would describe SSP as a program that will change your child in unforeseen ways. They will be inspired by outstanding professors and they will learn a tremendous amount about calculus, physics, and astronomy, and love every minute of it. But, SSP is incredibly challenging, so they will also learn a lot about discipline, determination, perseverance, and collaboration. My daughter came home with an unexpected maturity. SSP is most definitely the experience of a lifetime and my daughter will be forever grateful that she was one of the lucky ones who got to attend.  –Carol Lipstone, parent of Sarah Lipstone

It was an honor that our son, Raymond was chosen to participate in SSP.  SSP was different from other programs in which he participated in the past because it was so student driven.  Yes, they take lectures from awesome professors and get help from them and their wonderful TAs, but in essence, they have to learn it by themselves.  They have to know their strengths and weaknesses. SSP treats these kids as mature adult scientists, and we sincerely appreciate it as parents.  –George and Yoko Ramlow, parents of Raymond Ramlow

SSP was a transformative experience for George. He told us that it was the first time in his life where he felt that he was with a group of peers of such caliber, sharing the same interests and passions for science, for nature, for the cosmos. He loved the quality of the students attending, and he was totally captivated by the content of the program as well as the teaching. The combination of academic work, research, lectures by top lecturers, visits to industry, etc. were very well thought out and organized. Every single moment was intellectually rewarding and opened new horizons. George had already heard positive remarks from an alum before applying, but the actual program far exceeded his expectations. He feels he has accomplished something special this summer. I am sure that he will become a tireless ambassador of the program going forward.  –Kyriacos Sabatakakis, parent of George Sabatakakis

SSP is the most challenging activity my daughter had participated in. The 39 days was stressful but she was making progress everyday with the help of her talented classmates, the equally brilliant TAs and amazing professors.  –Qiu Zhonglin, parent of Yuchen Tang

Amber said “After SSP, everything becomes so easy”. Amber came home with an “I can conquer the world” attitude. To learn for the sake of learning and to pursue what’s unknown with strong passion have always been what Amber enjoys doing. We would love to be a part of SSP family. We will continue to support SSP in many years to come.  –Dr. Lifarn Yang and Joyce Teng, parents of Amber Yang

Lili appreciated the rigorous but collaborative approach to learning. She was grateful for the experience of creating community with a diverse and motivated group of peers who were “interested in lots of things”, not just science. I think she was challenged in lots of ways. She specifically mentioned learning how to navigate being a girl in the world of science with very smart and ambitious young men. She made friends who will be friends for life.  -Annie Briccetti, Lili Houston’s mom

Jason always said “Astronomy is exciting to me because of its sense of wonder.” So joining SSP was one of his hopes during his high school. He said “SSP was challenging, but unlike other program, was incredibly rewarding and fun. SSP taught me that science can be repetitive, and sometimes frustrating, but the fun is in going through all this together with a team.”  –April Kim, parent of Jason Kim

SSP was a great experience for my son. He had the opportunity to see and work with tools and software that scientists use in their research activity. The program has added new theoretical knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics, and helped him to apply what he learned to solve practical problems.  –Emil Lungu, parent of Valentinian-Mihai Lungu

I benefited from this program as a parent. It might not be the most important part but there might be parents who would understand my point… I felt that this program was a sort of ‘ general rehearsal ‘, a great opportunity before the huge step: collage/university. I am sure that lot of parent ask himself/herself if she/he prepared his/her kid for such a step good enough? Is he ready? For me it was a blessing to have a chance for such a ‘rehearsal ‘ and see that my son is not only clever enough to study in abroad but he made great friends, was enjoying everything, was shining, totally happy and found himself there.  –Tünde Pusztai, parent of Nathaniel Steenhuis

Despite taking the most rigorous math and science courses offered at his current high school, Daniel felt underprepared for SSP. He was immediately humbled by the caliber of his peers, and it was through their support in an environment of collaboration (completely new to him), and the advanced academic content he received, that he was able to rise to the challenge and grow exponentially. Daniel had attended other summer programs, but SSP was hands down the most intellectually rewarding experience of his life, as well as a lot of fun. Daniel is determined to continue his education at an institution that shares SSP’s values of collaboration and intellectual challenge. As his parents, we are filled with gratitude towards the SSP community for allowing him to enjoy this life-changing experience.   –Edgardo and Gabriela Torres, parents of Daniel Torres

SSP has provided a truly enriching experience for my son in that it not only offers a well-structured and well-taught multi-disciplinary intellectual curriculum, but also fosters peer learning among bright and interesting students from different backgrounds. The teachers’ thorough yet straight-forward explanations of complicated concepts along with their devotion to the program made my son’s learning experience at SSP most enjoyable and memorable. I’m so glad that my son had the opportunity to attend SSP this past summer!   –Teresa Cai, parent of Chris Wang

The summer Zhengdong spent at SSP was a very valuable experience. It changed his outlook towards academics.  Not only was the program fun and engaging, but it was extremely inspiring. The teachers are knowledgeable and passionate about the subject they teach.  He enjoyed the daily lectures, night observations and field trips. He learned more about the life of colleges and had more confidence to apply to. He also enjoyed the time with a group of diverse gifted friends. They learned, helped and motivated each other.  I can see Zhengdong is more ready for college after SSP from academic to character.  I would like to thank all teachers and students. Zhengdong has precious memories and hope to keep in touch with you all!  –Shaofeng Kang, parent of Zhengdong Wang

I can see what she gained: experience in living away from home, being independent, studied hard and played hard, and grew confident for her future contributions towards science.  We as parents greatly appreciate this wonderful program, and we will recommend it to other families.  –Julie Sun, parent of Lucy Zhu