“Knowledge is Power” Promotes Values of Higher Education to Middle School Students in Local Rural Areas

Area middle school students will be on campus Oct. 19 to shadow current Truman students and experience college life as part of the University’s new “Knowledge is Power” program.

Wendy Miner, chair of the Department of Education, along with Darl Davis, director of the Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) applied for and received a Faculty Academic Initiative Grant through the Provost’s Office to support Knowledge is Power.

Knowledge is Power focuses on the promotion of higher education within the Milan and Green City school districts, specifically toward seventh grade students. The main goal is to assist students from low socio-economic backgrounds in realizing college is an option and to provide them with the tools and support in discovering the best option for the individual.

“We would love to see them come to Truman, but if they don’t, that’s fine. The program will still be successful,” Davis said.
Davis, who went through the Upward Bound program at Truman during high school, said he is just trying to give something back to the community.

“You see so many students with so much potential, but because of home or economic situations, they never go ahead and take advantage of continuing education,” he said.

The program will be hosting 65 to 75 students from Milan and Green City during an event Oct. 19 on campus. Senior Lisa Busalacki has spearheaded the event and is working with on-campus organizations to recruit volunteers.

The students will arrive at Truman at 9 a.m. when they will be divided into groups and given a tour of campus hitting four prime locations: a residence hall room, Stokes Stadium, the Student Recreation Center and the natatorium. The students will then be welcomed by Troy Paino, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Truman volunteers and the Milan and Green City students filled out interest surveys allowing each volunteer to be paired with a student with like interests for the day. The students will shadow the volunteers for two hours while they experience a part of campus that pertains to their noted interests.

Popular requests were to visit the University Farm, the herpetology museum, the ROTC office and the radio station, among others. The day ends with lunch in one of the on-campus dining halls.

“To be able to show them that college is fun, and there are a lot of really awesome things you can do. I think it’s really important,” Busalacki said.

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