Make The Connection

October 17, 2016

Leslie Alton ’17 spent the summer in Chicago working to help high school students achieve their goals of attending and completing college. (Photo courtesy of Leslie Alton ’17)

A Student Who Cares

By Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Senior Helps High Schoolers Achieve College Goals

Name: Leslie Alton ’17
Major: Psychology
Minor: Sociology/Anthropology
Hometown: Barrington, Illinois
Experience: Center for Companies That Care internship aided by the OWU Small Grant Program for Signature Projects.

Over the summer, Alton interned at the Center for Companies That Care in Chicago. The center works with high schoolers in the Chicago Public Schools system to help them apply to and eventually graduate from college.

Lessons Learned: “One of my projects was running and planning a summer on-boarding colloquium. This was a four-session program for students enrolled to go to college in the fall.

“At the sessions, we talked about things to be prepared for in their freshman year such as roommates, budgeting, books, resources, professors, and registration. This was imperative to their success because almost all of them are first-generation college students.

“The other big project I did was plan a college bus trip. High school juniors go on this trip to see a variety of schools in size, diversity, and academic rigor.

“For many of them, this was their first time going out of the state. The trip is five days, four nights and visits six schools.

“They take a tour and sit down with a student panel. After each visit, there is a guided discussion about what the students did and did not like about each school.

“We also provide them with statistics about the school’s graduation rates, acceptance rates, and average GPA/ACT scores.

“Lastly, I worked with the high school summer internship program. This is a three-week program where students report to ‘work’ every day for four hours and learn about workplace etiquette, writing/communicating professionally, professional attire, and leadership/personality training. [During] the last week of the program, students go to different companies and shadow for a day.

“Overall, I had a great experience this summer. My favorite part was working with the students and helping them navigate the college process. I’m excited to see where the students end up in the future.”

Why I Chose Ohio Wesleyan: “I chose Ohio Wesleyan because I wanted to attend a small liberal arts school, and OWU has a strong psychology department. After visiting a few times, I knew OWU was the school for me.”

My Plans after Graduation: “I hope to attend graduate school next fall to obtain a master’s in mental health counseling.”