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Project Youth to Bring 1,500 Sixth Graders to the U of U

March 13, 2006 — This spring, 1,500 sixth graders will visit the University of Utah campus to participate in the U of U Bennion Community Service Center’s annual Project Youth program.

On March 22, the elementary school students, all from Title I schools, will begin their day with a campus tour, given by University of Utah student volunteers. The sixth graders will attend and participate in special events, such as science presentations, dance shows and discussions on future careers, given by University professors and faculty. The young students will end their day with a “Power Rally” at the Huntsman Center, which will feature KSL Channel 5 News anchor Nadine Wimmer as the keynote speaker. Wimmer will emphasize the importance of a college education.

“Project Youth gets sixth graders excited to pursue higher education by exposing them to college life,” says Yevgeniya Kopeleva, this year’s Project Youth co-director.

Now in its 16th year, Project Youth targets students from Title I schools where the majority of the students come from families that are at or below the poverty level, a socioeconomic status that decreases the likelihood that these children will attend college. Project Youth reaches out to young students at an early age and exposes them to higher education in hopes of motivating them to stay in school and plan for college.

“I look forward to volunteering with Project Youth every year. I meet aspiring young students and share with them what it means to be a college student,” says Nitasha Bennett, Project Youth committee member.

Over the past 15 years, Project Youth, this year sponsored by Morgan Stanley, has depended heavily on the Bennion Center student planning committee and on University student volunteers, most of whom come from LDSSA, ASUU, Greek Row and the Bennion Center. More than 250 volunteers are needed the day of the event. Volunteer shifts are flexible to accommodate student’s schedules. Interested volunteers should contact Elizabeth Swensen at or Jenny Davidson at