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Appalachian’s College Adventure Program honored

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Camp Broadstone has received the Eleanor P. Ells Award for Program Excellence from the American Camp Association for its College Adventure Program.

The award is presented to programs that encourage the development of creative responses to societal programs and promote the positive contributions that a camp experience makes to the well-being of individuals and society.

Camp Broadstone’s College Adventure Weekend provides eighth-graders who are potential first-generation, college-bound students an opportunity to learn about higher education and the academic preparation needed to succeed in college. They also learn about financial aid and campus life.

“Students leave the weekend with an understanding of what is required to attend college, an academic and personal strategic plan for the next four years of high school, a clear picture of campus life, and a strong sense of the skills and abilities they already posses to achieve the goal of attending college,” said Susan McCracken, director of external affairs and community relations for the Office of the Chancellor at Appalachian and former director of GEAR UP North Carolina.

Students also participate in activities designed to build leadership and problem-solving skills, self-reliance and perseverance.

“I am now confident and determined to get to and through college and no one or nothing can stop me,” wrote a Statesville middle school students who attended the weekend program.

“College Adventure Weekend is also a wonderful avenue for current college students to serve as mentors. Several Appalachian students who volunteered to work with College Adventure Weekend have gone on to serve as summer counselors with our campus-based GEAR UP and Upward Bound programs,” McCracken said.

Since 2003, 357 students from across the state have participated in the College Adventure Weekend. More than 250 Appalachian students who are Diversity Scholars have volunteered their time to lead and assist in the program’s operation.

The program is supported by funds provided by the U.S. Department of Education through GEAR UP grants. The GEAR UP program works with students from low-income middle and high schools across the state with the goal of increasing the number of students who graduate from high school and go on to enroll and succeed in postsecondary education.