Project Youth

1,500 sixth-grade students sample the U

March 28, 2008 – Research shows that sixth grade is the delicate age at which students either buckle down and focus on their futures, or fall away from plans for higher education. To help sixth-graders envision themselves as future college students, the University of Utah has invited 1,500 students from Title I schools to sample its campus, facilities and courses for one day.

Project Youth with take place Tuesday, April 1, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., beginning and ending at the Huntsman Center.

In its 18th year, Project Youth is designed to inspire sixth-graders to want to achieve a college education. Organized through the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, the program invites underprivileged sixth-graders from all over the Salt Lake valley to take part in a one-day, on-campus event.

“Project Youth is a fantastic experience for sixth-graders and University of Utah student volunteers alike,” said Curt Larsen, Bennion Center student-directed program manager. “The school children are provided with college-aged role models and the chance to physically see themselves on campus and imagine their college days. University student-volunteers have the unique opportunity to walk in the six-graders’ shoes and view the world from their perspective,”

Hundreds of U of U student volunteers help to facilitate Project Youth. The volunteers are “mentors-for-a-day,” sharing personal college experiences, taking groups of students on campus tours to classroom presentations, and attending a motivational program given by community leaders, celebrities and other influential individuals.

Students tour different departments and parts of campus to expose them to the variety of options higher education has to offer. The day culminates in an enormous power rally held in the Huntsman Center where students listen to guest speakers, see themselves on a big screen in a slide show, and cheer themselves voiceless.

For a complete itinerary for Project Youth 2008, or to discover more about activities sponsored by the Lowell Bennion Community Center, contact Alicia Geesman at 801-585-0093 or visit http://www.sa.utah.edu/bennion/.

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