Project GRAD celebrates summer scholars

 As the Project GRAD Atlanta Summer Institute winds down, students enrolled in GRAD’s summer commuter program prepared for their unique and highly-anticipated closing ceremony. 

 The closing ceremony for the residential sites, which occurred on Saturday, June 23, included the culminating activity for the Summer Institute’s entrepreneurship program, which was facilitated by Operation HOPE.  

Through HOPE’s Banking on our Future program, students learned about financial literacy, capitalism, entrepreneurship, and how to take control of their financial futures.  Students selected and developed ideas for businesses, and during Saturday’s ceremony, they competed against one another by sharing their ideas on-stage in front of a live audience of parents, teachers, college faculty, administrators and Project GRAD Atlanta staff.

 Wells Fargo Bank representatives supplied Project GRAD commuter site students with financial literacy tools and techniques to help them preserve and acquire resources for college. 

Wells Fargo partnered with math instructors at Georgia State University  and provided an integrated financial literacy curriculum for students which focused on wealth building, saving for college, and careers in the financial sector.

 The closing ceremony for the commuter program was held on June 29  at Morehouse College’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Chapel.

 Of course, GRAD Scholars learned about more than entrepreneurship and financial literacy this summer.  Since the Summer Institutes are designed to promote and support a “college-going” culture, the programs focused heavily on strengthening life and academic skills in English/language arts, mathematics and college readiness.  Most importantly, since these skill-building classes occurred on actual college campuses, students experienced an enriching, first-hand view of life on a college campus.  

During the Summer Institute program representatives from each college’s admissions, financial aid, civic engagement, academic and athletic departments gave presentations and dialogued with students.

GRAD’s Summer Institute allows rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders to engage in a three-week (June 3-23, 2012) residential experience or four-week (June 4-29, 2012) commuter experience.

The 282 GRAD Scholars enrolled in this summer’s commuter program were assigned toAtlantaMetropolitanCollege,AtlantaTechnicalCollege,Emory University,Georgia State University andMorehouseCollege. OglethorpeUniversity and theUniversity ofWest Georgia hosted the 120 students enrolled in the residential program. 

 An additional 27 Project GRAD Scholars will complete their Summer Institute at The Westminster Schools on July 13, 2012 as a result of Project GRAD’s long-standing partnership with Odyssey.  All students who successfully complete the Summer Institute with an 80 or above numerical grade point average will receive an educational stipend in recognition of their hard work and achievement this summer.

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