Ninth-graders from Geneva High School returned to Hobart and William Smith Colleges on Friday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of a Geneva 2020 program that provides an informative look at college life.
“We’re excited to host the ninth graders again, as they were the inaugural cohort of sixth graders that participated in 2012,” says Katie Flowers, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. The Colleges first made the commitment to host the annual visit in 2012 and this will be the fourth group of students to take part.
Seminars were held on admissions, financial aid and study abroad, and firsthand accounts and tours enabled the ninth-graders to see college from the perspective of college students.
“As we aim to heighten awareness about career options and demystify the college admissions process, we’re thrilled to host representatives from Bank of America on the career panel, whose generosity has leveraged a $500 donation towards Geneva 2020,” adds Flowers.
Aminata Dansoko ’15 and other students from the Leadership Institute presented to the ninth graders and offered their time as mentors, tutors and guides in the college admission process. They also plan to visit the GHS classes.
The students were welcomed by the Colleges’ President Mark D. Gearan, and then participated in a seminar on campus life, detailing some of the community service and student activities as well as providing tips for keeping academics and extracurricular activities in balance.
The Center for Global Education introduced students to study abroad programs, with some students from the Colleges sharing their personal abroad experience. Then, HWS students lead participants on a tour a little closer to home, taking them to a number of key locations on campus.
Geneva High School students also learned how to apply coursework to leadership and internships with professional advice from the Salisbury Center for Career Service and Professional Development.
The campus visit was organized by Flowers with coordination by Amy Forbes, director of the Centennial Center for Leadership, and Alejandra Molina, director of Intercultural Affairs.
The Geneva 2020 initiative is rooted in the collective impact model aimed directly at ensuring that low-income high school students in the local community have the skills necessary to graduate from high school and to effectively pursue college. The program has already helped move the local high school graduation rate from 70% in 2010 to 82% in 2013, and to increase the number of local high school students entering college from 74% in 2009 to 76% in 2013.