All Junior Giants players entering eighth grade are invited to apply for a $5,000 scholarship and each year, the Giants Community Fund inducts 10 new Junior Giants into the Harmon & Sue Burns Scholarship Program. This program follows and guides the selected eighth grade scholars throughout their high school career, and at point of graduation, they are awarded their scholarship to help fund their college experience.
Annually, the Giants Community Fund also hosts an event called the Road to College Workshop, where the selected scholars, their families, and their friends get to tour a new university campus.
This is where I come in. Back in January, during my first month on the job, Bailey (JRG Senior Coordinator), called me and Annie (the new Development Coordinator), in for a meeting. Usually, Bailey organizes and hosts the Road to College workshop every year, however this year she wanted to pass down this responsibility to us.
Of course, we were beyond ready to tackle this new project. I get this overwhelmingly warm sensation when I work on something that aligns with missions that I believe in. Having a sister that has been an AVID teacher/ supervisor for the majority of my life, and being a first generation college student myself, I am passionate about helping other students get the college experience that they deserve. By being able to plan this Road to College event, I am doing just that. So, I was happy to start coordinating.
Our first order of business was to find a college to host our event this year. I may be a little biased, but I thought Saint Mary’s would be the most perfect fit for these scholars to visit. UCs and state schools can seem a little overwhelming and intimidating to junior high and high school students, especially for first generation students. Additionally, the Road to College Workshop has never been hosted at a small and private institution before, so I thought this might be a great opportunity.
I reached out to my friend Ardi, a fellow RA turned Admissions Counselor, to see if SMC would be willing to host our Harmon & Sue Burns Scholars. We were in luck. SMC was down. This began the collision of my two worlds– I was able to combine my experience and connections that I have accumulated over the last four years on campus and with my new professional identity I have created here with the Giants. Gaels and Giants collabs are my new fav.
Some of my duties to prepare for the event included: constructing the event’s internal and external schedule, securing a catering plan, finding individuals to speak about college admissions and financial aid, contacting scholars and their families to make sure they RSVP, coordinating with campus facilities to reserve a room, printing name tags, creating check- in lists, making signs, writing thank you notes, preparing ticket vouchers for the scholars and helpers, and of course, getting black, orange, and white balloons.
Before Annie and I knew it, March 18th was upon us! It’s safe to say that this particular work day included my shortest commute ever.
Giants Community Fund Board Members, SMC Admissions volunteers, 10 Haron & Sue Burns scholars, and 40 other guests joined us on the Saint Mary’s College campus early that Saturday afternoon. We started off the day with a quick welcome from Ardi, who described the mission here at SMC and why our institution stands out amongst others. Then, our guests enjoyed a campus tour, an authentic college dining experience in Oliver Hall, some words of wisdom from our Board Member Panel, as well as a few helpful tips from SMC Financial Aid and Admissions.
Overall, our first event as Giants employees was a success. This process has made me realize that I really enjoy the planning, organizing, and executing of events and I may want to look into it more when thinking about my future career path.
As always, I am so grateful for the experiences that my internship has provided me with so far, but even more so, I am in awe at the amount of trust my coordinators and supervisors have had in me. Although I may just be an “intern”, the projects and tasks I have been asked to complete are far from busy work– it is rather impactful work. This is what keeps me going.
I am looking forward to what the rest of the season has in store! Can’t wait. 🙂
For some snapshots of our Road to College Event, check out the pics below: