April 24th, 2013

Last Monday, Montevallo High School juniors got a taste of college life when they visited APP Higher Education Member University of Montevallo.

The 40 Blueprints College Access Initiative students attended college classes, explored the historic campus, enjoyed lunch in Anna Irvin Dining Hall, and talked with faculty and students about the college experience.

MHS alumnus Dr. Jim Day welcomed the students to campus and shared his personal journey from high school to military, college, and career as a UM history professor.  Student Government Association members Rachael Swokowski and Shelby Mays also spoke to the students about their pathways to college.

Many students had graduated from the Blueprints early awareness program as 9th graders.  The 11th graders focused on specific details of the decisions they are making about their futures, including upcoming financial aid and college application deadlines.

Christina Morris was the Montevallo Blueprints valedictorian when she was a freshman.  After completing the college coaching program, Christina said that “as you go through life, you have to forge your own path, even though sometimes you have to go it alone.”

Mentor Ashley Humphrey, a Mass Communications major, said one of the lessons she learned was that “to get respect, you have to treat others with respect.”

The field trip concluded with a graduation ceremony to celebrate the students’ completion of the Blueprints college coaching curriculum. Kirklynn Hamby, who completed the most independent enrichment activities during the semester, won $50 to celebrate her achievements.

Thank you to Montevallo High School and the University of Montevallo for their work promoting a college-going culture. In addition, special thanks to Dr. Laurel Hitchcock, assistant professor of social work, and the students of her Human Behavior class for their service-learning partnership and to theOffice of Service Learning and Community Engagement for coordinating the day.