Several dozen college freshmen who had previously attended The D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation’s Skills and Drills Conference as high school seniors, returned to attend the Foundation’s annual Homecoming Youth Conference. The event was held on January 8, 2013, on the campus of Hofstra University. The homecoming conference provided them an opportunity to discuss the ups and downs of their first semester experience. The topics of discussion included: biggest surprises, successes and failures, and the pros and cons of college life.
Overall, the college students liked their experience; however, they were surprised by the amount of responsibility and the level of maturity required, to be successful. They noted that at times they had too much time on your hands, and it was important to be able to manage your time wisely. The college students noted that the faculty can have a sense of humor; however, it was not all fun and games. Students are held accountable for their actions and you no longer have the safety net of parents, teachers, counselors, and high school administrators. The college students also noted being surprised by the level of diversity on campus and having to live with strangers. They also expressed surprise about the cost of textbooks and noted that the scholarship from the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation helped offset these expenses.
Then the conversations deepened. The students revealed their successes and failures in their first semester college experience. Many discussed actually failing classes for the first time ever, and what that was like. Others discussed failing to have good study habits and getting lost on the giant college campus (everything is not in one building anymore). For the most part, the students were able to adjust and noted that being involved in clubs and extra curricula activities helped because they were able to make friends with others who shared their interests and who were experiencing some of the same challenges.
Finally, the “D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation Homecoming Youth Conference” gave the college students an opportunity to discuss what aspects of the “Skills & Drills” mentoring program helped them the most. The students really benefitted from time management skills and how to focus and study assignments. They also learned to adapt their learning styles, network, and how to effectively use college resources. In reflecting on their experiences, they wished they had more information on other scholarships, had a better understanding of core curriculum, and had a tutorial on the importance of meeting with an advisor and how to select classes. This discussion not only helped the students, it also helped the Foundation’s organizers adapt their curriculum for future “Skills & Drills” programs.
View more photos from the event here:
In fact, the Foundation will host another program April 23, 2013 whereby information and suggestions derived from this conference will be applied to the “Skills & Drills program.
As we continue to build the Mentorship Program, your support as a volunteer is always appreciated and welcomed.
For more information please visit us at:
http://www.dbrickashawfergusonfoundation.org,which describes our mentoring program and has several videos on past events.