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Posted: February 8, 2009 12:01 a.m.

College Bound program comes to Social Circle

By Michelle Kim/

Putting it together: Students in the College Bound program check the time during a time management exercise.

Every other week, 20 to 30 high school students gather near the gymnasium of Social Circle High School – but not for a club or sports practice, but to find out how to get onto the college track.

In conjunction with the high school the Social Circle Boys and Girls club kicked off its first session of the College Bound program as a way of giving local students real world information on now to successfully navigate college.

Krystal Williams, executive director of the Social Circle Boys and Girls Club, is excited the club is able to offer the new, 12-session program.

"We’ll be able to identify students and make sure kids in the community are on the right track," she said.

In addition to finding out the nuts and bolts of the college application process – transcript credits, community services hours, financial aid, test preparation – students also learn about the skills they’ll need to successfully navigate college, such as time management, financial management and study skills.

"We’ll try to get the ninth through 12th graders ready for college," said Michelle Duquette, coordinator of college and career development for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. "The parents might not have gone to college so they might not know how to help them. This [program] is just to help prepare them for college and graduating high school."

During one session, teams of students were interrupted with delays such as "went to the mall instead of studying" as they raced to be the first to put together puzzles in an exercise on time management. Afterwards, they filled out schedules to see how they could realistically accomplish all the tasks they might face in college.

Though some students were clear about where they were going – such as senior Maritza Heard, who wanted to major in biology and eventually become a dentist. Other students listed colleges that they had heard of from television shows, such as New York University, or that their family members had attended.

During spring break, students will also take trips to various campuses around the state to see first-hand the opportunities that await them.

At the end of the school year, students will have the opportunity to apply for a non-competitive $1,000 scholarship and a competitive "All-Star" scholarship worth $2,500.

For more information, go to www.bgcma.org or call the Social Circle Boys and Girls Club at (770) 464-0069.

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