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Friday, August 13, 2010

Moved by the voices of 9th graders

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had the privilege to meet five impressive 13- and 14-year-olds from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Arizona. They are among the 25 soon-to-be 9th graders who just completed their first experience in an innovative program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota called Countdown to College.

Countdown to College is a new no-charge academic camp that immerses prospective first-generation college students in college prep classes and campus life for two weeks each summer from the 9th through 12th grades. The intent is to prepare them for college success in a way that only an immersion experience can.

Working for a public relations firm, I seldom have the opportunity to work as directly with students as I did in supporting the Countdown to College communications effort. These students told me their life stories, which are some of the most moving stories I’ve heard during my entire career.

I have the pleasure of helping many organizations and individuals share their stories as part of my job. When those stories touch me personally, I know I’ve chosen the right career path.

Thank you, Countdown to College students.