Provide An Opportunity!
About Cougar Quest
Washington State University's status as a land-grant institution provides a unique relationship between research, instruction, and public service. This makes the Pullman campus an exceptional setting in which to bring pre-college age youth of all ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds.Cougar Quest, an academic summer camp for students entering grades 7-12, is in its eighth year. Through Cougar Quest, Washington State University seeks to inspire intellectual curiosity in young people through interactive, academic workshops; enhance interpersonal skills through residential living; and provide recreational and social activities that maintain the body. Over the past seven years enrollment has increased in the program by 895%.
Washington State University is fortunate to have so many faculty, students, and staff who want to work with young students. Workshops are taught by WSU faculty, graduate students, and staff. The counselors are current WSU students who have maintained high academic standards and shown themselves to be leaders. They are wonderful role models for the Cougar Quest participants.
The impact on the lives of the children that attend the program has, in some cases, been transforming. Participants gain confidence during their time at Cougar Quest, and retain it after they return home. Time that children spend on the WSU Pullman campus also increases their comfort level with higher education. It is exciting to see the changes that occur in students after only one week at WSU. Participants learn about careers, skills (educational and social), and how to live in a diverse environment. One 12 year old girl from a rural area of the state was originally entertaining thoughts of becoming either a TV Wrestler or a beautician when she grew up. However, after attending Cougar Quest for two summers, she now plans to attend college and is looking at other career options.This is just one story of many students who have come away from Cougar Quest with better attitudes, ideas, and confidence in their own abilities. Parents and teachers have called us absolutely astounded at the rate of growth one week at camp can produce in a child.
Workshops have been offered in Veterinary Medicine, engineering, construction management, critical thinking through philosophy and popular culture, photography, web design, java programming, archeology, leadership, math, aikido, improvisation, hip-hop dance, musical theatre, creative writing, and character development through play writing, and stage makeup.Even this list is only a handful of the workshops we have had in an effort to introduce children to new fields and ideas, and cover the wide variety of interests they have.
Imagine pre-college age students from inner cities, rural areas, and ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds all coming together for a week, blending their cultures, learning to live together, and accepting and appreciating one another in a safe environment. At the same time they are involved in learning from world class faculty and graduate students through engaging workshops while being supervised by caring counselors. Balancing out the academic are social and recreational activities that re-enforce the things they are being taught, and helps build confidence and community. Experience and evaluations over the past seven years has shown that lives are changed through this program. The vision of Cougar Quest also includes the desire to bring young people to the program who would benefit from the experience, but whose families cannot afford the fee. Your contribution will enable youth to participate in a week of learning and discovery.
Why should you donate?
Each year the Cougar Quest office is contacted by a number of individuals asking if there is any financial assistance available. As a venue for public access to the university, Cougar Quest would love to provide deserving families with scholarships.
We do have a scholarship application process and a set of standards in place to assure funds are awarded fairly and to students who really do need the financial assistance. The process requests tax returns to verify financial need, and includes a short answer/essay section for students and parents to fill out.
We are asking for donations in any form. A donation of $675 (full scholarship), $337.50 (half) or a gift of any amount will be extremely appreciated. Thank you in advance for considering donating to Cougar Quest! Your donation is tax deductable, and and should you have any questions or would like to get more information about the program please feel free to call any of the following individuals:
Director of Summer Programs
Pre-College Program Manager