Temple Harrisburg’s Summer Discovery


Finding the leader within

Summer program students in group
Ritamarie Trippett(front left) and Danielle N. Martin (far right) pictured with students from Summer Discovery: Leadership.

On Monday July 16th, fourteen students, all from different from Central Pennsylvania high schools and different backgrounds walked into Temple Harrisburg for a week of self-discovery. Not knowing what to expect, they embarked on a program filled week that would create bonds, provide self-reflection and overall, make them better leaders.

A few were not new to summer programming. Typically influenced by their parents, these students submerged themselves in to the various activities each day without angst. Parents and peers couldn’t help but to comment on the change they’d seen in their student as the days went by.  By day two, they were eager to learn, participate, and make the most of their week: the 14 rising juniors and seniors left with lasting friendships and many stories to tell.

Danielle Martin, Academic Success Coordinator for Temple Harrisburg, is not new to bringing out the best in her students. A veteran at the student success stories, she knew ways to get students out of their shells and get them involved. Ritamarie Trippett, Senior Student Services Coordinator, filled the week with activities and exercises exposing students to a world of communication, expression and leadership.

Though Temple Harrisburg has a small team dedicated to the success of its students, they made a big impact with the outside contributors who offered a different perspective to the program. From college students to working professionals, each aspect of the In just a few months they planned a week that seemily changed students lives who said they were “surprised by how much fun (they) actually had” and that they “enjoyed having college students tell their experiences”.

Temple Harrisburg plans to integrate highschool students into developmental programming annually due to the success of this year.

Summer program students helping in the community
Summer Discovery students Leaders giving back through community service with the Camp Curtin YMCA.

Summer program students in a group

Below is each workshop and its description:


Monday, July 16

Session I: Self Discovery:  All About Me

Facilitator: Ritamarie Trippett, Sr. Student Services Coordinator

This session is designed for students to learn about their personality type and help them understand themselves better.  The activities will help the students learn about what motivates and energizes them, how to improve relationships, and the way they can work and communicate with others.

Session II: Developing S.M.A.R.T Goals/Vision Boarding

Facilitator: Danielle Martin, Academic Success Coordinator

During this session, the student will learn the importance of developing SMART goals and why it is essential to success in the classroom and in life. The vision boarding exercise will allow the student to get their goal/dream “on paper” and design a realistic plan to achieve it.


Tuesday, July 17

Session I: Social Media 101

Facilitator: Danielle Martin, Academic Success Coordinator

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter...We all use them, right? It is how we use them that can make the difference! In this session, students will learn the how to properly use social media as it relates to college admissions and career placement.

Session II: Career Exploration: Not Just When You are Seniors

Facilitator: Ritamarie Trippett, Sr. Student Services Coordinator

This session is designed to engage students in the world of work beyond high school, educate students on graduation options, and expose students to growing workplace and postsecondary education opportunities.

Session III: Career Exploration II

Facilitator: Danielle Martin, Academic Success Coordinator

This session is designed for students to learn how to enhance and/or create their own resume.  Networking skills will also be a focus on this session. Students will create their “elevator speech” and practice it amongst their peers.”


Wednesday, July 18

Session I: SAT/ACT Test Strategies

Facilitator: Laura Dimino, Assistant Director of Academic Programs

This session is designed to provide strategies and focus on vocabulary for students taking the SAT/ACT to prepare for college.

Session II: What’s the Right Fit for me?

Facilitator: College Panel

This session is to hear first-hand what life on campus is like from various college students.  This is a great opportunity for students to get questions answered directly and learn more about each students undergraduate experience.

Session III: Admissions 101

Facilitator: Danielle Martin, Academic Success Coordinator

This session is designed for students to gain knowledge about what colleges/universities looks for when making decisions. Students will get an idea of what criteria is needed and will be informed of admissions timelines.


Thursday, July 19

Session I: Leadership 101

Facilitator: Mr. Jason Brown, SHRM-CP, Group Talent Development Manager, Enterprise Holdings

This session is designed to provide students with essentials for strengthening their leadership skills in order to become a leader in college, the workplace and in their community.

Session II: GRIT

Facilitator: Ritamarie Trippett, Sr. Student Services Coordinator

In this session students will learn about grit with a TEDtalk by Angela Duckworth on Perseverance and passion for long-term goals and find out how “gritty” they really are.

Session III: Service Learning: To Serve is To Lead

Group Project

Leaders will giving back through community service with the Camp Curtin YMCA. Our session will be lead by Ms. Rafiyqa Muhammad. Ms. Muhammad is a leading permaculture expert in our community and will be working with our students to help beautify the community garden.


Friday, July 20

Session I: Escape Room

Group Project

Students will now put their leadership skills to the test and learn how teambuilding is essential to escaping the obstacle.

Session II: Etiquette

In this session, student will learn the appropriate behaviors during networking events. Students also will write thank you notes to presenters.

After the last session of the week, the leaders were celebrated at a Recognition Luncheon. Parents and TUH staff members were welcome to join and celebrate the leaders as well. The students were given completion certificates, a pin, TUH mugs and TUH information about our campus and First Year experience.