Life Skills Series Featured – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
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Life Skills Series Featured

A Finger Lakes Times article featured the African American Men’s Association (AAMA) of Geneva’s annual “College Life Skills” series, geared toward sophomores, juniors and seniors from Geneva High School. The AAMA seminar series, hosted by HWS, provides vital information for those who are interested in attending two- or four-year colleges and would also like to learn more about life as a student, the application process and/or financial aid. The offering is part of the Geneva 2020 initiative launched between the Geneva School District and HWS.

“It is a community-based program, with support from the Geneva City School District, HWS, the AAMA, the city of Geneva and other organizations,” the article quotes AAMA secretary Victor Nelson. “It really shows that [kids] have the support of community.”

Applications for the series are available at

The complete article follows.

Finger Lakes Times
College prep program starts Wednesday

Julie Anderson • November 5, 2014

GENEVA – Filling out a college application can be a daunting process for students and parents alike.

A program a local group started six years ago is designed to ease the anxiety of the paperwork and procedures.

The African American Men’s Association’s College Life Skills program begins this week. An informational session, set for 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Sanford Room of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Warren Hunting Smith Library, kicks off the program. Pizza and refreshments are provided at each of three sessions, all of which are scheduled for the Sanford Room.

College Life Skills is targeted for high-school sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in attending college. In its first five years the program has helped more than a hundred prospective collegians understand the application process, assisted families in understanding financial aid and taught students about personal fiscal management.

“It is a community-based program, with support from the Geneva City School District, HWS, the AAMA, the city of Geneva and other organizations,” AAMA secretary Victor Nelson stated. “It really shows that [kids] have the support of community.”

A look at the three-part program:
• Wednesday’s opening session is titled “Choosing the Right College for You.” It’s aimed at educating students on how to look for a college, and how to apply.
Finger Lakes Community College, HWS, Monroe Community College and SUNY Oswego representatives will attend.
• The second part of the series, scheduled for Nov. 13, is “Financial Aid and Admissions.” It focuses on financial aid, how to obtain financial resources and demonstrating that college is affordable for anyone who wants to attend.
• Part 3, “Handling Personal Finances,” is Nov. 20. It teaches students how to handle finances while in school, along with providing an overview of credit, loans and resource management.

Panels comprised of college students from HWS, FLCC and Keuka College will be at all three events. HWS Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Montrose Streeter will moderate the sessions.

Topics of discussion for the panelists include the transition from high school to college, time management, getting involved, studying abroad and “things I wish I had known before enrolling.”

“It reaches out to students who would not ordinarily participate because they think there is a cost, but it is completely free, in a very relaxed environment, and has helped so many students – many who are the first in their families to attend college- get the information they need to be successful,” Nelson said.

Parents are encouraged to join their children, particularly because the financial-aid process depends on family income. A follow-up session in January further instructs students and parents on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid process.
“We know that all of the seniors that went through this program have attended college, and we have students who have completed our program that are now alumni of higher education,” Nelson noted.

Information packets will be distributed Wednesday. They contain a notebook, sample applications and a list of scholarships and grants.

The College Life Skills course is not required to apply for the AAMA scholarship, but it is encouraged.

Applications for the series are available at

Walk-ins are welcome.