By: Katie Davis, Truancy Court Program Attorney
Each week CFCC’s Truancy Court Program (TCP) team members stress to TCP students the importance not just of staying in high school, but of going on to graduate from college, as well. We speak to them of the increased opportunities that come with a college degree and help them devise an academic path that will lead them to their profession of choice. We often don’t have time during TCP sessions, however, to talk about the logistics of getting admitted to college and then paying for college, or even the reality of what college classes will be like once they enroll.
Last week at Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, high school students, faculty, and staff were able to participate in a workshop designed to teach them about the college admissions and financial aid processes and to get them excited for college. The workshop was the first in a series of three financial literacy workshops made possible through a State Farm 2014 Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant given to the Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Four law students enrolled as CFCC Student Fellows have been working all semester to organize the workshop series. Last week, they were able to bring financial aid and admissions professionals from the University of Baltimore to the high school to give students an in-depth lesson on how to get to college. The students learned how to choose a college that is right for them, how to prepare now so that they can get into that college, where to look for scholarships, and how to successfully navigate the financial aid application process. In addition, Mark Bell, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore, treated the students to a short sample college class on business ethics. Though the students were wary at first, most of them warmed to the experience, answering his questions about proper business practices and entering into discussions about hypothetical business situations.
During the next two weeks, students at Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, their parents, and school faculty and staff will be invited to participate in more State Farm 2014 Good Neighbors Citizenship Grant financial literacy workshops. One of the workshops will delve into the financial aspects of housing in Baltimore City, while the following workshop will focus on the importance of budgeting and saving, the details of opening banks accounts, and the relevance of purchasing various types of insurance.