These RAMP Grads are Ready for Wentworth and Know a Lot About Urban Farming

August 28, 2019

Photos by Yunjia Hou

Michelle Castro, an incoming Architecture student at Wentworth, is the first in her family to go to college. “I felt scared in the past about going to college because I wasn’t sure what would happen,” she says.

But, as a Boston high school student, Castro was eligible for RAMP, Wentworth’s pre-college bridge program that affords students a chance to work on real-world projects and in workshops on campus with mentors. They also get paid a stipend. Castro says that the program made her decision to attend Wentworth an easy one.

Another reason she chose Wentworth is “they prepare you to be a better adult for the working world.” Castro additionally learned how to build resume and LinkedIn skills in RAMP.

Throughout the summer, RAMP students worked under the theme of “Urban Farming” with topics focusing on providing organic food to low-income neighborhoods, educating people on how to compost organic waste, and reducing the cost of rainwater collection. 

RAMP students ultimately presented their final projects to the Wentworth community in Watson Auditorium. This is the ninth year of the RAMP program with this year’s groups including 46 students and more than 20 mentors.

Erik Miller, the director of the Center for Community & Learning Partnerships, says the program provides a first-hand introduction to the project-based and hands-on learning paramount to Wentworth.

He says that students learned basic prototyping skills and how to access various resources on campus. They also took a course entitled “How to Make Almost Anything” where they learned how to use a laser cutter and hand tools, and assemble an engine, among other things.

“Students might not realize the impact of RAMP right after the program,” says Miller. “But if you ask older students, they might say they would not still be in college if they didn’t know what resources were available.”

Andrew Bordenave, an incoming Construction Management student, says he better understands college life now and that he made many friends during the program.

He notes students had opportunities to visit technology companies related to their majors. Bordenave, for example, visited Eversource Energy, New England's largest energy provider, and his friend in Computer Science visited Amazon Robotics.

“Every second in RAMP is perfect to me,” says Bordenave. “It prepares us for the road ahead.”

--Yunjia Hou

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