Perseverance was the word of the day at the Scholar Bridge Conference.
On Saturday June 13, 21st Century Scholars from nine high schools in four counties gathered at the Marion Ivy Tech campus to learn about making a successful transition from high school to college, and about persevering when facing challenges.
The summer between high school and college can be a challenging one as recently-graduated high school students navigate the steps necessary to matriculate to a college setting – analyzing financial aid reports, preparing to physically move on campus, and figuring out books and other necessary supplies.
The conference was funded in part by USA Funds in partnership with Project Leadership, the Indiana Youth Institute, Ivy Tech Community College, the 21st Century Scholars program and ISM College Planning.
Sessions throughout the day included:
- Financial Aid & Money Wise: Robert Sommers with ISM College Planning spoke about the intricacies of college financial aid, including all the steps that are necessary after the FAFSA is filed. “Getting it filed is like the first mile of a marathon,” he said. “There is work you have to do afterwards to get to the finish line.”
- Grit and Thought Shift: Project Leadership’s Steve Gibson focused on what students need to do to prepare themselves mentally to be successful and were introduced to the concept of grit and its role in determining success at the post-secondary level. He said students need to be willing to seek assistance when they are struggling, whether it be with academics, financial aid, or personal issues. “Your college experience should be a no shame zone,” Gibson said.
- A post-secondary student panel where students from five different post-secondary settings shared insights about everything from campus life, to studying habits, to recommendations for successful roommate relationships.
- A financial aid professional panel that focused on insights from financial aid professionals who work directly with college students. Panelists provided general troubleshooting advice, as well as information about issues that pertained specifically to Scholars.
- Everything Parents and Mentors Should Know: IWU Director of Multiculutural Access and Outreach David Humphrey discussed how mentors and parents can support their students during the transition to college and during the freshman year and beyond. He focused on explaining “staying power” as well and helping students develop realistic expectations.
The conference concluded with students receiving a gift card to assist with school supplies, as well as door prizes donated provided by conference sponsors and local higher education institutions.