|Ashley Hagood, a junior nursing major, takes two high school students on a tour of the new nursing building, Founders Hall. |
“We recognized a concern for the education program in Chester,” Jamar Phillips, a political science sophomore and president of the NAACP Chapter at Widener, said. “We wanted to show high school students that there was more for them after high school.”
The College Access Center reached out the local high schools in Chester and opened up the opportunity to anyone interested. “This year we have 25 participants,” Phillips said. “We hope to increase it every year.”
During the day, high school students attended classes with Widener students, ate lunch in the dining hall, took a tour of the university, and participated in two panel discussions. “We are trying to give them insight into the future,” Phillips said. The panel discussion provided students with a look at majors they are interested in and allowed students to ask questions about the social life on campus and the benefits of living on campus, as well as the job market after college.
Ashley Hagood, a junior nursing major, told students that working hard pays off. “Get involved and make yourself stand out,” she said. “It’s important to make yourself marketable so you are ready to enter the work force.”
Phillips believes the program has been a success so far; several students who participated last year went on to college and most of the others are participating in some form of secondary education, including trade school.
Tywan Johnson, a junior at New Beginnings Academy, enjoyed his time on campus. “It’s time for me to start thinking about college, so I thought this would be a good opportunity,” he said. “The panel discussion has helped change my perspective of what college really is.”