WILMORE, KY—More than 70 middle school and high school students got a taste of life on Asbury’s campus Saturday during the Black Achievers of Central Kentucky College Awareness Day.
The Black Achievers of Central Kentucky is one branch of the nationwide YMCA Black Achievers program, which connects students with local African-American adult role models and helps them develop academic, career and life skills. Their visit to Asbury, which was sponsored by PNC Bank, was designed to teach them about college life and studies.
The event also provided Asbury middle school and secondary education majors with the opportunity to interact with minority students. Asbury’s School of Education hosted the event in collaboration with the admissions department. Dr. Shirley Pauler, education professor and chairwoman of the School of Education’s Cultural Diversity Action Committee, organized the day’s activities.
Pauler said she hoped College Awareness Day would help the Black Achiever youth “sharpen their vision for going to college when they finish high school [and] build their confidence for college life.” She also hoped it would increase the education majors’ “confidence and comfort level in working with students from diverse backgrounds.”
Those participating in College Awareness Day were organized into different groups according to grade level. The seventh-graders headed to Asbury University’s Challenge Course where they participated in the low ropes course and completed activities designed to help them develop problem-solving, teamwork, communication and leadership skills. The eighth-graders headed to Asbury’s Equine Center where they learned how to care for and interact with horses.
The high school students stayed on campus, attended an admissions presentation in the student center, participated in break-out sessions, ate brunch in the cafeteria, and took a mini-tour led by Admissions Department student ambassadors.
Students had 11 break-out sessions to choose from. Most sessions focused on topics relevant to college students such as dating, finances and stress. Other sessions, such as those on filmmaking and studio art, provided visiting students with a closer look at specific majors offered at Asbury.
Roxanne Brown, program director for the Black Achievers of Central Kentucky, said she hoped her students took advantage of the opportunity to “talk to Asbury students, see what campus life is like, and see what some of the classes are like.”
Many of the participating students said seeing campus was their favorite part of the day.
“I think that my favorite part was just walking around campus,” said student Andi Scott. “It was really interesting to see how college people interacted with others.”
Student Isaiah Lewis also said he especially enjoyed “exploring the campus, walking around, and … learning different ways of living life.”
Asbury students enjoyed the Black Achievers’ visit to campus, as well.
“I think it was really great that we had the opportunity to open Asbury up to a group like this because they’re so focused on getting these kids interested in college,” said Anna Mozley, an education major and admissions department ambassador, who helped with registration for the Black Achiever youth and led a mini-tour of campus.
“Obviously, since I go to Asbury, I think Asbury’s wonderful, but I think just getting them onto a college campus in general and allowing them to see how college works and to experience what a college class might be like was a great opportunity for them and for us.”