Celebrating High School Seniors "Stepping off to College"

File Under: Community

Malone University, City of Canton partner to help Canton City Schools Class of 2019 high school seniors succeed in college.

A grant from the City of Canton allows Malone University and Canton City Schools McKinley High School and the Timken Early College High School Program to honor 34 graduating high school seniors who have attended the "Stepping Off to College" program at a celebratory banquet on May 15 from 5-7 p.m. in the Hoover Dining Commons of the Brehme Centennial Center on Malone University's campus. Canton City Mayor Thomas M. Bernabei and Canton City Council members will be in attendance. 

Students who participated in "Stepping Off to College" will receive a tech package - including a laptop computer - and a clothing voucher in order to dress for success. Awarded students have attended three events this spring on Malone's campus in February, March, and April in order to be exceptionally prepared for their higher education careers, no matter where they will attend college. The program was led by Malone's Dean of Retention and Student Success Beth Clark-Thomas in partnership with Canton City Schools' College & Career Connector Casey Quinn as the high school liaison.

“We are so excited to celebrate the accomplishments of these students and thrilled to send them off to college equipped for their futures," said Clark-Thomas. “We believe in our students and are excited to see them succeed, not just in college, but in life.”

Programming was created around a survey Clark-Thomas created, asking first-year students what they wish they had known coming into college. Several themes emerged: career options, finances, and student life. In the opening February event, students met with career counselors and used job assessment tools to determine skill sets, interests, and what kind of majors may be best for them.

The March event was an intense discussion about “Money Matters” and offered students the opportunity to meet with a partner from 5/3 Bank, who explained to students how to budget, and what they needed to know about debit and credit card accounts. Malone University’s Laura Klco, Associate Director of Financial Aid explained the specifics of understanding what their financial aid packages meant and discussed with them financial options such as grants, loans, FAFSA, etc. The event concluded with a panel of Malone first-year-students who answered questions and shared their own financial experiences.

The final April event, the "Amazing College Race" included teams led by college students who introduced the high school students to various areas on campus, such as the financial aid office, registrar’s office, etc., as well as prepared participants for life in a residence hall community and how to negotiate living with non-family members; and ended with a meal in the Hoover Dining Commons.

“We are proud to support this educational partnership between Canton City Schools and Malone University,” said Bernabei. “We’re confident that this investment in the students’ futures will produce citizens that will continue to make Canton a great place to call home.”