Hey there! My name is Morgan Benham and I am coming at you live from the offices of the Battle Creek College Access Network in Battle Creek, MI. I am currently a little over four months into my first year of service. My time here has flown by and I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge since my first day. With the help of awesome colleagues, substantial progress toward completion of my VAD and VYI have been made along with networking efforts and building multiple new, valuable relationships.
The transition of a past mentoring program into a student-led club at Kellogg Community College has been successful thus far. The group of Legacy Scholars who showed interest in the beginning of this implementation have met on a couple of occasions. BC CAN staff held an initial meeting to explain our direction and hopes for the club. A few weeks later, we met up at Buffalo Wild Wings and spent time together in order to get to know each other and forecast topics for future get-togethers and workshops. Our first workshop had low attendance but another event is to be held soon in hopes of reconnecting with the students. Overall, the club is coming together nicely and hopes to have the students take over are a work in progress as well.
Our social media platforms (give them a follow!) are growing steadily. I oversee both our Facebook and Instagram where I post regularly about our Legacy Scholars, college tips, and activities pertaining to students in the community. We created four hashtags in order to keep posts consistent and regular. Those hashtags are used biweekly on their respective days. The initiative of these platforms are to reach students and their families in our community with information on preparing for post-secondary education, getting to post-secondary education and staying on their specific post-secondary education path to earn a degree.
Since BC CAN’s focus is college readiness, persistence, and attainment we partake in Decision Day activities around the city. This year, Battle Creek Central is holding an assembly and reception for its graduating seniors who have indicated their plans for the fall. Other schools in our community are not taking as grand of an approach but have jumped on board with celebrating their seniors’ decisions in their own way. I have offered each school the opportunity to receive pennants from us that can be decorated with the senior’s name and decision. Two local schools have taken us up on this offer and will receive those soon for the students to display on their lockers before and during Decision Day. The rest of my year of service will continue to fly by, I’m sure! There is still much to do to complete my VISTA Year Initiative and reach the goals I have set with my supervisor. Stay tuned for more excitement from the Battle Creek College Access Network!