The Student Professional Development Center hosts local middle and high school students for a financial literacy workshop and tour of Elon's campus.
The Student Professional Development Center (SPDC) hosted 19 local students from Alamance-Burlington School System in The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Alamance County on Wednesday, June 29.
The students had lunch at McEwen Dining Hall and afterward enjoyed engaging in a financial literacy session with Chris Harris, associate professor of finance and chair of the Department of Finance.
“I hope that they see that they have an unlimited amount of options out there and see that there’s a future for them,” said Tara Nager ’12, branch manager at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club. “By talking about financial literacy, our hope is to prepare them so when they age out of our program, they’re prepared for whatever.”
The 19 students also completed a professional development session and went on a campus tour.
This partnership between the SPDC and the Boys & Girls Club of Alamance County began with two members of the SPDC, Alison Doherty and Corinne Townley. The pair developed and presented career development workshops for middle and high school students at the Boys and Girls Club last November.
“When the opportunity presented itself to collaborate with the Boys & Girls Club, I was so excited to utilize my career development knowledge for such a great organization,” Townley said. “It has been such a joy to see these students consider their future careers and help them take actionable steps towards their goals. I hope these sessions and their visit to campus have inspired them to chase what they want in life.”
Brooke Buffington, director of the SPDC said there is value in having younger students visit any college campus to “demystify” some of the preconceived ideas about college.
“It was wonderful to have these students to have the opportunity spend time on Elon’s campus,” Buffington said. “I hope that they left the visit excited about their future and the opportunities that are available to them. They all have so many great aspirations and ideas of where they want to go in life. Hopefully, they feel a little bit closer to these goals now.”
Jordyn Case, a rising ninth-grader at Graham High School, aspires to get her J.D. one day and said getting a glimpse into college life is what she found to be most valuable about the experience.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what college life is like and what my opportunities are here at Elon or any other college,” Case said.
Four years from now, Melvin Hatfield, a rising ninth-grader at Williams High School, plans to attend Elon and study engineering. But before he gets that, he understands the importance of events like these.
“They bought us here to give us more opportunity to see what’s around us and what we can do,” Hatfield said. “I think it’s a good mindset to get early work in.”