On March 7, the Winston-Salem Chamber held its Senior Academy Career Day – “Empower U” – on the campus of Winston-Salem State University for students from Carver, East Forsyth, Glenn, North Forsyth, Parkland and Reynolds high schools.
To kick off the event, Winston-Salem State students welcomed the high school students. A panel discussion followed with Dr. Muhammad, Director of Financial Aid; Austin Greer, Risk Management, and Daymond Lindell, Student Affairs.
The high school students and Winston-Salem State students then had lunch together while the Epiphany Modeling Troupe provided entertainment. After lunch, students divided into groups for a tour of the university.
After that, student and faculty representatives from Nursing, Political Science, and Communications programs spoke to the high school students and answered questions in a session called “Major Talk”.
A pep rally followed, and, as the high school students climbed back on buses for the trip back to their home school, the Red Team Cheerleaders and the Red Sea of Sound members performed.
Senior Academy is one of two flagship volunteer programs of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce to benefit students in the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools system. Senior Academy pairs 11th and 12th-grade students at risk for dropping out with a trained mentor to provide an additional support system. The program has an over 90 percent graduation rate. The Chamber’s other volunteer program, Corporate Volunteers, addresses reading skills for students in K-2nd grade.
Through participation in the Senior Academy, at-risk students gain confidence and support from their mentors, and many outcomes change from not achieving a high-school degree to enrolling in and graduating from a 4-year institution. Taking part in Empower U is another way to motivate, encourage, and inform the students about their college and career choices after graduation.