Thank you to Bank of America for the $20,000 Grant for Project Elevate: Challenge, Changes and Choices. This project will consist of 75 high school students in March of their junior year. This allows us to issue a set of “challenges” that will make sure they take classes as a senior that help them get ahead of their peers. We also “challenge” them to fulfill all of their college admission requirements before entering their senior year. This includes a 24 hour ACT/SAT preparation academy, test registration and fee payment and transportation to all of these events. From there, we implement several lifestyle “changes” that prepare them for life beyond high school. The first “change” takes place as they participate in our financial literacy program. The curriculum begins with financial basics and eventually transitions into the various ways to pay for college and entrepreneurship. Next, we ensure that participant has taken one of our 3 evidence based prevention programs that address problems such as drug and alcohol use and premature sexual activity. Once these students have established solid college acceptance resumes, created plans on how to fund this education, learned how to manage their finances and discovered how to avoid destructive behaviors; we then expose them to the “choices” they have in front of them and their importance. We take these students on a 4 day, 3 night college tour that ends with a visit to a state penitentiary.
Pictured left to right is Debra Sweezer (BGCCC – VP, Program & In School Services), Bethaney Kleinheksel (BGCCC – Director of Volunteer Services), Jason Pedigo (BGCCC – Director of Community Awareness & Planned Giving), Bryan Sherman (Bank of America – SVP/Regional Sales Executive and BGCCC Board Member), Alvin Odom (Bank of America), Joan Roe (BGCCC – VP, Finance & Operations), Will Smayda (Bank of America), and E. Michael Simpson (BGCCC – CEO).