My daughter, Shannon, came to San Diego State as a high achieving student from Santana High School without an “exit strategy.” Now, writing this letter, I look back on the years Shannon has spent at San Diego State and marvel at the poised woman she has become. In a few short years, she has studied abroad at Oxford University in England, worked in Washington, DC as a house intern and has received a Udall Fellowship, a prestigious, national scholarship. As proud as I am with Shannon’s accomplishments, I know that the SDSU Honors Program guided and helped her every step of the way.
When Shannon decided to attend San Diego State University, it was because of the Honors Program. In retrospect, this proved to be a pivotal decision because, although Shannon was a fine student and could have attended any number of colleges and universities, she lacked direction in her freshman year. She was unsure of what major to choose and how to begin to sift through all the opportunities open to her. The Honors Program provided personal attention and guidance that helped Shannon to apply for, and win, the Leon Panetta Internship. The Honors Program Faculty also supported Shannon in her application to become the first Udall Scholar from SDSU.
I have watched Shannon, through her involvement at San Diego State and with the Honors Program, grow in confidence and leadership. I have seen her put her ideas into action. It’s an amazing moment, for a parent, when you realize that you’ve turned over “the reins” to your child and that they now are steering their course to the future. I feel grateful to have had that moment and I’m sure it will be one of the many thoughts going through my mind when Shannon graduates from SDSU in May.
I truly believe that the Honors Program at SDSU provided the guidance and support that not only gave Shannon a rewarding college experience but will also provide a strong foundation for her life after graduation. In talking to other parents, I’ve found their opinion to be similar to mine. I wish you and your student the best collegiate experience possible, and I know that the Honors Program at SDSU can turn those possibilities into reality.