Voices from SD Orientation: Ariana Salimi

I’ve been going to ATDP for half of my life. Although I have been taking classes at ATDP for 8 years, I still find it interesting. The first class I took was Simple Machines in Elementary Division. I remember being really bad at it because it was so hard. However, over time my performance improved. I transitioned to Secondary Division and also found myself struggling tremendously, similarly to my experience in Elementary Division. The I took Introduction to biotechnology, and at the end of that term, my grade was stamped with a B+. But, I was never so proud of a grade in my life because I was proud of what I struggled to achieve.

One of my most favorite summers was when I took Public Speaking and Philosophy. During that summer I learned that ATDP wasn’t a math and science cookie cutter program. Philosophy taught me concepts that at times contradicted science and encouraged thinking outside of the box. I was exposed to a new discipline that was different from the math and science classes I had taken. Philosophy was a foreign territory for me because unlike math and science, it wasn’t ingrained in facts but rather my own personal opinions.  As I speak with you today, I am applying the tools I learned in Public Speaking. This class showed me how to effectively present my ideas to my audience. I find it to be important because without efficient communication, I don’t believe that you can be successful in any career.

In summary, these last few years, ATDP has been more than just a way to kill time during the summer. It has helped me grow as a person and learn how to face challenges directly. ATDP gave me the opportunity to connect with other students from different backgrounds who have all come to the program to learn. So far, there hasn’t been a summer that has not excited me!