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College Coffee welcomes Elon Academy scholars to campus

Elon University welcomed dozens of Alamance County high school scholars to campus midday Monday with a special College Coffee for students enrolled in the Elon Academy, an intensive three-year college access and success program for talented local teenagers with financial need or no family history of attending college.

Scholars spend four weeks on campus taking classes and engaging in leadership and service opportunities.
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The June 20 program on the Phi Beta Kappa Commons, which included an ice cream social, allowed students to meet with faculty and staff instructors who will lead them in academic and leadership development in the weeks ahead. The students had moved into the Smith and Carolina residence halls a day earlier.

Now in its fifth year, the Elon Academy’s 73 high school students will spend a month taking academic courses during the day including personal finance, philosophy, herpetology, criminology, engineering, creative writing, cognitive science, Spanish language and culture, political science, and music. All scholars will participate in college planning classes, which include organizational and study skills, SAT preparation, the college application process, and securing financial aid.

The evening curriculum includes golf, racquetball, dance, swimming, drama, personal defense, art and tennis.

Scholars will also engage in leadership development classes and community service projects. They will also have the opportunity to take field trips to a variety of colleges and universities to begin considering which school is the best fit. The Academy includes three consecutive summer residential experiences prior to the sophomore, junior and senior years, as well as year-round Saturday programs for students and families.

President Emeritus J. Earl Danieley talks with scholars at the special College Coffee on the Phi Beta Kappa Commons.

For some students in the newest cohort, the Epsilon class, Sunday marked the first time they had set foot on Elon’s campus. Even those who have visited marveled at their environment and joked about their summer surroundings. “The sidewalks?” said Khalil Poole, a sophomore from Graham High School. “They don’t go in straight lines. They all curve! I might have to cut across grass sometimes!”

Others in the Epsilon class said they plan to use the Academy as a way to explore their own academic interests while forging a path to college. “I want to get to know more people and find what I’m interested in learning more about,” said Tonisha Lewis, a sophomore at River Mill Academy in Graham and a member of the Epsilon class.

Lewis’ friend and classmate from River Mill, Brittany Dorsett, was even more succinct: “I want to find my calling.”

Eric Townsend,
6/20/2011 3:39 PM