Welcome back to the Orientation blog! Today, our friends Ayanna and Madai are going to talk about their experience as the current Directors of the Summer Bridge Program and their advice to new students.


Hello! My name is Madai Huerta and I am a Summer Bridge Director. I will be a Junior this upcoming fall and I am a Studio Art Major on a Pre-med track. My freshman year was full of many life changing memories and Summer Bridge was for sure on the list. When you first meet me, I am a shy introvert that has social anxiety. But when I joined the Bridge Program in 2019, it challenged me to grow in my confidence. Slowly but surely I started to notice a difference in me that I hadn’t noticed before. I felt the support I got from my new friends and the connections I had made. This pushed me to do the uncomfortable and aim for the things I thought would be impossible. I am still on the journey of growing into the person I want to be and the Summer Bridge Program was a great start. 

Advice: For my shy peeps, push yourself to do the uncomfortable. It is okay to be nervous and shy about starting a new chapter in your life. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grow into your identity while you spend the next 4 years of your life on Hope’s campus. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂


Hey ya’ll 🙂 My name is Ayanna and I’m one of the Summer Bridge student directors for this year!

You may be asking, what is Summer Bridge? Well, Summer Bridge, aka SB or Bridge, is a two-week program for highly motivated freshmen invited by SB program staff. During the two weeks, you have the opportunity to earn two college credits, connect with Hope faculty and fellow SB students, and get to know the campus and Holland community!

Thankfully, I was a part of Bridge in 2019 and the program eased my anxious feelings about starting college. Being a first-generation college student, I was intimidated about the idea of college and its expectations. Making friends was another point of concern. But at SB, our beach trips, movie nights, and late-night karaoke sessions formed friendships that didn’t seem forced. In terms of college expectations, successfully completing a science and English course during Bridge along with the encouragement from my SB directors and peers was a reassuring push that, I know, resulted in a better freshman year.


I would say “Don’t be nervous!” but that phrase didn’t help me as a freshman 😉 SO just know and take comfort in the fact that everything will work out. You’ve gotten this far and you’ve earned your place at Hope so just own it. Sometimes it won’t be easy, but you’ve got this! Please please please reach out for help if you need it 🙂

Summer Bridge FAQ:

  1. How long is the program?
    • This is a two week long Program which starts on August 15th and ends on August 27th. 
  2. When is the application due?
    • The application is due July 15th. Turn in your application ASAP! 
  3. Who can participate?
    • Summer Bridge is an invite-only program. Click the link we provided in the invitation to apply.
  4. When would we move into our fall housing?
    • You would move into your fall housing before Orientation!

Thank you for joining us today! You can email summerbridge@hope.edu or call or text 616-928-1895 with questions. See you soon!

Published by Student Orientation

Hope College New Student Orientation strives to create a smooth and welcoming transition to college for students and their families.

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