Clark State Scholars Program sets event for high school students

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

The Clark State College Scholars Program will host an event for local high school students to kick off the new school year and learn about the college.

The second Nest Fest event will be held on Thursday at the Eagles Nest on the main campus for Springfield City, Clark-Shawnee Local, Graham Local, Tecumseh Local and Urbana City school districts.

“We are excited to host the 2nd Annual Nest Fest event for scholars, their families, mentors and support teams,” said Karen Hunt, director of the Clark State Scholars Program. “Exploring the campus through fun activities will allow high school students to learn more about Clark State, meet professors and inspire career choices for those who have not defined a major.”

An important part of the Scholars Program is the students being mentored through their high school years through a support system that encourages them to work toward a college education and help expose them to experiences they might not have otherwise.

“Mentors offer guidance and support to the youth we serve and are a positive influence in our communities,” said Toni Overholser, vice president of advancement. “By sharing their time and talents, mentors help prepare first-generation college students for success.”

This event provides an opportunity for the students and their families to meet their mentors before the first session begins next month.

This program began 19 years ago inducting middle school students into the Springfield district, and it expanded the last four years to include students from other Clark and Champaign schools.

The Clark State Foundation partners with the school districts to identify eligible middle school students who will be the first in their families to earn a college degree.

After being selected for the program, scholars and their parents sign a contract that states the student must maintain a 2.0 or higher GPA, a 93% or better school attendance, participate in at least 75% of the program activities, exhibit good citizenship, take classes in high school that will prepare them for college, and stay enrolled in the district they were inducted.

After gradating from high school, the students will be eligible for three years of college at Clark State at no cost. An annual scholars induction is held during the spring semester each year to welcome the new participants.

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