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GHC's Fabulous Fridays are filled with fun

By Miranda Lockridge
Staff Writer

Because of GHC's new program for sixth graders, Fridays are "fabulous" for local middle school students.

Fabulous Friday was started by Alison Lampkin, alumni development specialist at GHC and Judy Taylor, a local advancement director and community coach.

The event allows middle school students to visit a college campus and participate in activities, as well as provide opportunities to learn about college preparation for both students and parents while informing them about college admissions and financial aid. "It opens their eyes and lets them see what is out there," said Lampkin.

Activities are held from 9am-2pm. At recent Fabulous Fridays, Dr. Randy Pierce, president of GHC, opened the program by welcoming students and presenting a power point outlining the program's aspirations. Students also took pre-surveys before their morning at GHC started. After the middle school's graduation coach spoke about the day's goals, students were split into groups.

The itinerary has varied throughout the year. For example, students had previously visited the Antarctica Exhibit and attended classes to engage in biology, physics, history, political science and psychology. Students participated in various experiences from riding on a hovercraft in the hallway to getting frog juice splattered on their t-shirt during a dissection of a frog.

At one of these sessions, Student Life produced a presentation after lunch. At the end of the seminar, students learned about financial aid and wrote out their goals.

Some may have losta shoe in the duck pond, or gotten their foot stuck in mud, but according to Lampkin, the feedback on the post-surveys has shown a "great response" and the kids "seem to love it."

The program also inspires students to stay in school and further their education. Scott Akemon's political science exercise changed the way a young student felt about college and citizenship. At the end of the day, the student was inspired by Akemon to attend college after firmly stating earlier in the day that he would not further his education.

Lampkin makes a point to tell students to find one person that they can always go to for anything, and encourages them to become involved. "It's very interesting to watch the kids and interact with them," she stated.

Fabulous Friday coordinators follow through with schools to make sure students stay on track.

As for the future of this program, Lampkin said, "Word of mouth has really taken off." Lampkin and other volunteers hope to expand Fabulous Friday to other school districts.

Fabulous Friday coordinators are always looking for GHC students to volunteer. Interested students should contact alampkin@highlands.edu.