Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2003
IU student volunteers help high school peers prepare for college
For the past 14 years, students involved with the Indiana University's Volunteers for Minority Recruitment program have sacrificed some of their weekends and free time to encourage high school sophomores to attend college.
For the next two weekends, high schools will be sending some of their best minority students to the IU Bloomington campus to get a dose of college life. The program, IU Reach, encourages high schools to send three minority students who rank in the top 20 percent of their class to the program, which accommodates 15 to 30 students each weekend.
"IU Reach gives high school sophomores the opportunity to see a college campus in a college town, as compared to small community colleges," said Krystin Washington, a senior at IU Bloomington and co-director of the program. "We've had a lot of IU students come back and say events like the Multicultural Open House and IU Reach helped them to make their decision to come here."
Since 1983, the Volunteers for Minority Recruitment has been a student ambassador group run solely by student volunteers within the Office of Admissions. Each year, IU students host programs to encourage high school students of color from area high schools not only to attend Indiana University, but to attend college overall. This year's IU Reach weekends are April 6 -7 and 13-14.
Washington said she got involved with the program because she saw great things that could be done with the diverse culture on the IU Bloomington campus.
The IU Reach activities are just one of many program initiatives. Every year, VFMR ambassadors also assist with the Multicultural Open House in the fall and 21st Century Scholars Day in the summer. Student volunteers help with events such as Pre-College Day, the Indianapolis Black Expo Summer Celebration and the Indiana Overview. All of these programs are designed to encourage more students of color to attend colleges and universities.
IU Reach gives visiting high school students a realistic look at college life. The students stay overnight and dine in campus residence halls. The students also engage in academic activities, attend a lecture, take a tour of the campus and get ample opportunities to ask IU students about what college life is like.
Indiana high schools that are participating are from Gary, Highland Park, Muncie, Cedar Lake, Crawfordsville, Indianapolis, Munster, Hobart, Whiting, Lake Station, Bloomington, East Chicago, Hammond, Crown Point, Griffith and Merrillville.
For more information about Volunteers for Minority Recruitment or IU Reach, contact Lori Patton or Willis Cheaney at the IU Office of Admissions at 812-855-1678.