A Stepping Stone for Geneva Sixth Graders

Students help with the program "Geneva 2020"

GENEVA, NY- The ice cream line was unusually long in Saga last Tuesday, Oct. 14. Filled with dozens of sixth graders, the students were teeming at the sight of a soft serve machine.

The students in attendance were part of the “Geneva 2020″ initiative, visiting Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the second time in their academic career with the Geneva public school system.

6th Graders from Geneva Schools visit the colleges for half a day.

A panel of HWS students speaks about internship experiences.

Geneva 2020 is a program that seeks to “Advance the Geneva schools and build a stronger community,” according to the HWS website. With a 65 percent graduation rate, it is the hope of HWS that by the year 2020, 90 percent of students at the public school will graduate, according to the program initiatives.

Last Tuesday marked another stepping stone in these student’s futures. Time on campus was spent listening to a panel of students with internships, talking at the Finger Lakes Institute, and watching a presentation on Chinese culture.

Most importantly, students were given the opportunity to set goals for the future.

6th Graders from Geneva Schools visit the colleges for half a day.

Students learn about Chinese culture.

Ranging from a fashion designer, to a race car driver, the sixth graders’ goals were all across the board. As they cut through magazines and newspapers to find pictures of their “dream goals,” the thoughts of these children began to spring to life.

These picture collages will be hung up throughout the Middle school to serve as a reminder of their goals. The hope is that having goals will help keep students in school reaching for something.

“I find that many of the students who we host for these informative half- and whole-day events have visited campus at some point in the past, but this is the first time these sixth graders will be part of formal Geneva 2020 programming on campus telling them what the future can hold for them if they continue to dream for themselves and work toward that dream,” Katie Flowers, the program coordinator, quotes on the HWS website.

Taking time out of their long weekends, around thirty students came back to help show the students around.

“At the end of the day, it was nice to hear all of the ‘thank you’s’ and ‘good luck with classes,’ from the students,” says Karley Reucher WS ’15, “It was a great experience that really showed just how much of an impact we have on these kids, and they have on us. Being from Geneva, it all came full circle for me. I wish this event had been offered when I was there.”

Geneva 2020 was only one of the many ways students at the Colleges gave back to the community this week. In other news,

These are all part of the HWS commitment to service and helping the community. For more information on the mission of the colleges and service, follow this story link. 

Phoebe Moore is a Junior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. Studying Writing and Rhetoric, she hopes to pursue some sort of writing career after graduation. Outside of the classroom she is a member of the cross country team and athletic leadership core.