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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's DREAMBIG Academy for underrepresented high school students from across Nebraska starts this Sunday, July 21, and continues through Thursday, July 25, at UNL. These students will be seniors in high school this fall.

In six years, the academy has brought nearly 300 Nebraska high school students from more than 40 towns and 65 high schools to campus. Seventy-five percent of the high school attendees became first-generation college students, with 72 percent qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program in high school.

The academy enables these students to experience college life; learn about their strengths; meet current college students, UNL faculty and staff, and community members; and find out about the different business majors and careers from UNL professors.

All academy participants qualify for the Nebraska Emerging Leaders Scholarship of $2,000 if they complete the program and meet academic requirements during their senior year of high school.

Some highlights of the upcoming academy include a panel discussion from 3-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, with alumni and business community leaders from Nike, Ameritas, Lincoln Public Schools and Pawlytics. Conagra will present the students with a case study on Thursday, July 25, from 2-4 p.m.

The idea for the academy started with former dean of the College of Business, Dr. Donde Plowman, asking Dr. D’vee Buss, assistant dean for undergraduate programs, about starting a summer camp for high school students that focused entirely on underrepresented students. Plowman and Buss brainstormed with others at the college and in the community, and the inaugural DREAMBIG Academy kicked off in 2012.

For more details about the academy, see business.unl.edu/dreambig.

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