The first Geneva 2020 initiative event will take place on Monday, Feb. 13, when 160 sixth-graders from Geneva Middle School visit campus to take part in tours and discussions designed to introduce them to the culture and opportunities available at college. More than 20 HWS students have volunteered to provide tours of campus to the students, enabling small tour groups and the ability to address numerous questions. HWS students who are graduates of Geneva High School are also expected to meet with the visiting students throughout the day.
During the spring and summer of 2011, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva City School District (GCSD) held a series of meetings with community leaders from both the nonprofit and for profit sectors in an effort to align the greater Geneva community around the strategic priorities of the school system. Calling its efforts Geneva 2020, the group seeks to harness the resources of the Colleges and the Geneva community to provide assistance in four key areas identified by GCSD as being critical to the future of Geneva’s children: graduation rate, career and college preparedness, literacy, and communications.
“The Colleges are uniquely positioned as an institution of higher learning to partner with GCSD in addressing these four areas,” says President Mark D. Gearan, who will meet with and provide the welcoming address to students when they arrive on campus. “It is my hope that in working together, we can make a difference in the lives of our children.”
In addition to the President’s welcome and tour, a panel discussion will be held as part of the event. Associate Director of the Centennial Center for Leadership Amy Forbes, Associate Dean of William Smith Lisa Kaenzig, Assistant Dean of Hobart College David Mapstone, HWS Dean Montrose Streeter, HWS Athletics Compliance Officer Brian Miller, and others will discuss a variety of topics relevant to students looking to get into and succeed in college. Current students and Geneva Scholarship Associates scholarship recipients Allauna Overstreet Gibson ’14 and Ryan Sollenne ’15 will discuss the student experience.
Other topics to be discussed include: leadership; the importance of developing a network with teachers, coaches and other adults who will be able to advocate for them in the admissions process; financial aid options that make college possible for all; and the ways, in addition to athletics, that students can be good candidates for college scholarships, including academic performance, leadership activities and service.
The next campus visit takes place on Friday, March 16, when more than 170 ninth-graders take part in the program.