Cynthia Reyes

Cynthia Reyes gets connected with summer program

Cynthia Reyes visited Iowa State University in high school and absolutely loved it. Because she enjoyed her visit and because of her brother’s alumni status, she decided to attend Iowa State. Her cousin told her about the Academic Program of Excellence (APEX) the university offered. Cynthia applied and was accepted.

Through the program, she got to start her college career the summer before her freshman year.

“This program gave me the opportunity to get a head start on classes and make new friends before the school year began,” she said. “It definitely made the transition easier.”

Cynthia stayed with other students in a dorm. This meant learning how to handle a roommate, maneuvering campus, and understanding how meal bundles and dining centers work. Because all of the students involved in the program lived there too, Cynthia didn’t feel overwhelmed.

“Everyone is on the same floor,” she said. “Which is good because you become like family. You don’t feel alone because they are there.”

Cynthia also took classes and connected with her professors. She took seven credits, which included English and psychology courses. But her favorite was a leadership seminar which pushed her out of her comfort zone by helping her try new things and take a more active stance in group meetings.

Because of her experience, Cynthia feels excited and ready to take on new leadership roles. Right now, she enjoys helping incoming students by being Cyclone Aide. She encourages other students who are eligible for the APEX program to apply.

“It’s worth the time,” she said. “That was the best summer I’ve ever had. I learned a lot, took field trips, and made valuable connections.”