Meet LPS Focus Program Scholar: Tessa, Early College and Career STEM
Lincoln Public Schools Focus Programs are a customized high school experience rooted in connection and opportunities.
LPS offers almost a dozen focus programs for our scholars to choose their journeys like Northeast High School first-year student Tessa.
She has expressed that she has always had a love for nature and animals. Her family’s strong interest in science also influenced her to follow the path of learning about natural sciences.
Tessa is taking the first steps in exploring the field at the Early College and Career STEM Program at Northeast. It is more commonly known as FEWSS (Food, Energy, Water and Societal Systems). FEWSS is one of the school district’s newest embedded high school focus programs thanks to the University of Nebraska - Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
Read more about Tessa’s Early College and Career STEM experience in this Q&A as she is January’s featured Focus Program Scholar.
Home High School: Northeast High School
Focus Program: Early College and Career STEM at Northeast
Why did you choose the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program?
I have always really loved nature and the environment. So, the thought of being able to learn more about our world and how to protect it was intriguing to me.
What do you like most about the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program?
I really like how in the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program the UNL staff and students that we meet, even though we are only high schoolers, they are still excited to engage with us. It makes me feel like some of those big problems like climate change, like I can do something to help out with it.
What makes the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program?
The thing that makes the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program is definitely the people in it. You can tell that they're really passionate about agriculture and sciences – whatever it is that they are doing they put their heart in it.
There are a lot of field trips to UNL, where you meet staff and students that you can ask about your interests. Also, I know that if you ask our coordinator Bailey Feit about your interests, she is very good at looking for opportunities for students to learn about their interests.
How has attending the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program empowered you as a student?
I feel really passionate about climate change – a problem that will take many people working together to solve. I often lost hope in trying to fix it. Through FEWSS and our activities, I realized that even the little I could do would help in the end.
What are your relationships with other students and staff like at the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program?
Once again, everyone in the focus program is really nice and dedicated. The focus program also puts some of the kids who are all into the same sort of things together, so there is a lot of bonding.
How has being a part of a LPS Focus Program added to your high school experience?
You know being a freshman and coming into high school is a big adjustment, and having those two or three cohort classes to look forward to has really helped me find some stability.
How has the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program prepared you for the future?
The Early College and Career STEM program helped you get used to being in a college. This made me feel a lot more confident about going out in the world.
Why are focus programs like the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program important to high school students?
I think that the focus programs really help kids explore their interests, and find something to enjoy in the craziness of high school. It also helps kids find other kids who are interested in the same things as them. The LPS focus programs just add so much to the community.
What is the greatest thing you’ve learned since attending the Early College and Career STEM Focus Program?
Even if you don’t see yourself as a science or an agriculture person, you can still really have a lot of fun learning about it and finding a career in it. When we think of agriculture and science we think of farming and lab coats but really there is so much more.
Choose your passion. Choose your community. Choose your future with LPS Focus Programs.
Learn more about the Early College and Career STEM program at Northeast by visiting its website at https://eccsp.lps.org/.
Don’t forget to also explore LPS Focus Programs by looking at upcoming events at home.lps.org/focus.
Published: January 26, 2024, Updated: January 31, 2024