Academy prepares youth for college life
“I want to become a doctor,” says one student.
“I want to become a lawyer,” says another.
“And I want to become a doctor and a lawyer,” says a third.
“Wow,” said Dr. Rebecca McMullen, Georgia College associate professor of special education in the John H. Lounsbury College of Education (COE), to the third student. “Way to dream big. I’m confident you can do both if you stay focused.”
During a college prep session at the university this month, McMullen shared tips with nearly 20 middle and high school female students of Delta G.E.M.S. Academy about preparing for higher education.
“The session simulated real-life situations — using drugs or having to wait for a babysitter — and showed students how these occurrences can affect or delay their chances of succeeding in college,” McMullen said. “However, they can still earn a degree if they just stick with it.”
The monthly sessions are collaborative projects among the sorority’s Dr. Betty Shabazz’s Delta Academy of middle school girls; Dr. Jeanne L. Noble’s Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) of high school girls; and the COE’s Diversity Committee to form the Delta G.E.M.S. Academy.
The goal of the academy is to prepare girls of color for succeeding academically and socially.
Every third Saturday, the sorority provides fun, educational resources to Baldwin, Putnam and Hancock county youth. Each year, the program also awards three $500 Delta Sigma Theta Scholarships to female seniors from these areas.
McMullen chairs the Educational Development Committee (EDC) of the sorority’s Milledgeville alumnae chapter.
“The Delta G.E.M.S. Academy is a chance to fuse the missions of EDC and COE,” said McMullen. “Part of the COE’s Diversity Committee’s mission is to recruit and retain our communities’ talented students. We hope these students know Georgia College is a great option.”
The session also connected youth with current Georgia College students to learn about campus life and exposed the group to popular career fields in science with Dr. Rosalie Richards, Georgia College’s first Kaolin Endowed Chair in Science.
“I decided to attend this session to prepare for the future,” said Divyne Bunch, 13, of Baldwin County. “I want to make sure I know what I’m doing and what to expect heading into college.”