Monday, February 23, 2009

Athens College Track

My PR Campaigns class (which I've mentioned in several posts) has done a good bit of research about how UGA students can get involved and give back to the Athens community.  Recently I heard about an organization in town that is doing just that, and I wanted to take a minute to talk about what they have been doing.

Athens College Track, a partner of College Bound Aid, was created to inform students and parents about the financial issues involved in education post-high school.  Athens College Track also makes scholarship information easily accessible to students.

This morning, Athens College Track sponsored The College Track Game, a life-sized board game designed to teach students about the importance of saving for college.  Two weeks before the event (which was hosted by Clarke Central High School), students competed in an essay contest, answering the question, “Why do you think college students graduate with debt? How can you start early to avoid this situation?”  The top three essay candidates competed in The College Track Game, which was modeled after the game of LIFE and taught students how to prepare for college in a fun, interactive way.  UGA athletes were there to cheer on the students and speak about the importance of a college education.  The game’s winner received a scholarship from Horizon Staffing.  Athens–area professionals were available after the game to talk to students about different career options.  

As we have discussed in our Campaigns class, one of the biggest causes of poverty is a lack of education.  Athens has an extremely high drop-out rate, but of those students who make it to their high school graduation, not many get the opportunity to continue on to college.  This campaign is great because it focuses on getting students information on scholarships and financial aid, and letting students (those in poverty or otherwise) know they can go to college. 

I wish I could have gone to see the event myself, but unfortunately I had to go to class (after missing them all on Friday for Real World I figured I should go today).  Here are a few pictures from today's event, which can also be found on Athens College Track's online news room.

Great job to PRSSA's 2009 Bateman team (Selena Robinson, Stephanie Perrett, Carrie Edwards, Erin Gentry, Leslie Emanuele) for planning and putting on this amazing event!

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