About the YSSS Virtual Program

What is the Young Scholars Senior Summit Program?

The Young Scholars Senior Summit (YSSS) program is a three-week, inquiry-based enrichment experience housed at the University of Connecticut exclusively for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Young Scholars. The virtual YSSS program will involve the scholars in relevant research activities in authentic situations under the guidance of esteemed university mentors. The scholars will be provided with an opportunity to work with accomplished university professors and/or advanced graduate students on projects in shared areas of interest within an individualized setting.

The virtual program will differ from typical online classes in that it will emphasize hands-on research and creative productivity. Scholars may be required to read background material to prepare for their sites; however, they will also participate in research activities at their sites and conclude their virtual experience with a presentation to their peers and mentors as well as faculty and students from relevant academic departments about their work. Scholars and mentors will become a community, working together on important issues on the cutting edge of various fields of study. The virtual YSSS program will allow the scholars to experience real-world research and/or creative projects, enhance their awareness of their talent areas and career opportunities, interact with students who share common areas of interest, and ultimately take on the role of practicing professionals.

As part of the virtual YSSS program, scholars will:

  • deliberately pursue knowledge and build skills through the mentor sites
  • get involved in and pursue activities that matter to them and their communities by picking mentor sites based on their own investigative interest
  • develop expertise in one or two things and share that expertise with others during the collaborative mentor site experience, but also as practicing professionals during the culminating event
  • “think big” about who they want to be and act in service of their aspirations through their investigative work in the mentor sites, specifically in their acquisition of thinking and feeling processes (e.g., creative thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, affective processes, learning how-to-learn skills, use of advanced-level reference materials, meta-cognitive technology skills, written, oral, and visual communication skills).
  • make meaningful connections with people including their cohort, mentors, and counselors.