Alumna Celeste Orton ’08 will give the keynote address at the College Life 101 program at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 27 in the Geneva Room. College Life 101 is a program of HWS and the Girl Scouts-Seven Lakes Council for local girls in middle and high school. The day gives girls who might not otherwise consider higher education, a chance to be on the campus, meet college students and learn how accessible college really is for them.
Orton, who completed her degree in December 2008, created an individual major called “Language and Intercultural Identities” with a minor in political science. She is a human rights specialist with the Geneva Human Rights Commission. The Commission promotes mutual respect and understanding among all racial, religious and ethnic groups and has taken position on local issues involving public policy, the criminal justice system, police relations, fair housing and lending, equal opportunity and access, diversity, racial unrest and other community concerns.
“My work with the Commission includes interviewing complainants and closely assisting Executive Director Karen Baer with making determinations,” said Orton.
Orton joined the Commission with previous human rights experience gained during an internship at the New York State Division of Human Rights in Hempstead, N.Y. Reflecting on her work in the field, Orton said, “I know that I can effectively help someone in need of an advocate when it comes to human rights complaint because of the knowledge that I have gained, and through my valuable work experience.”
Taking what she gained from HWS and her experience in human rights, Orton plans to attend law school in the Fall 2009. “Hobart and William Smith Colleges have prepared me for law school and made me believe that everyone can do whatever they puts their minds to.”
During the day girls attending College Life 101 will participate in workshops on career exploration, personal wellness, college admissions and financial aid, leadership, take tours of the campus and finally, interact with a panel of William Smith students. A representative from BOCES school to work program will also be on hand to talk to girls about alternatives to college. Students will also enjoy lunch at the Scandling Center.
Girls interested in attending can pick up a registration form at the Geneva Middle and High School guidance departments, or call the Girl Scouts at (315) 539-5085 ext. 2124. Space is limited. There is no charge for the event. College Life 101 is funded in part by the Ontario-Yates Fund for Women.