Assumption Welcomes High School Students to Campus as Part of Ernst & Young Sponsored Community Education Program

Feb. 21, 2019
Katelynn Rosa '19
High school students from Ernest Young visit Assumption College and attend a information session.
High school students listen to a presentation about Assumption during their campus visit as part of the Ernst & Young College MAP program.

Not all students have the same opportunities when it comes to securing admission to and succeeding in college. On February 14, Assumption, as part of a new partnership with Ernst & Young’s College Mentoring for Access and Persistence (College MAP) program, welcomed to campus a group of high school students from Boston and Providence, during which they experienced life on a college campus and discover what Assumption offers. 

“I think it’s really important for the students to visit a college campus because most of them will be the first in their family to go to college,” said Jessica Stokes, global strategist at Ernst & Young, volunteer mentor, and eastern regional leader for College MAP. “For many of them…this experience is the first time any of them set foot on a college [campus]. Even though they are driven and motivated and planning to go to college, many of them don’t yet really have conceptually what that would look like or feel like. It just helps make that dream more real for them.”

The College MAP program, established in 2009, is a national organization that guides high school students through the transition into college. Ernst & Young employees partner with public high schools that educate underserved communities in which students are most often first-generation college students. In addition to making students aware of the possibility and feasibility of pursuing a college degree, the Ernst & Young mentors also inspire students to strive for better grades and realize their full potential as students. According to Ernst & Young, in but 10 years, the College MAP program has inspired nearly 1,000 high school students through the engagement of 560 Ernst & Young professionals as youth mentors in communities in 31 cities across the country.

The purpose of the visit to campus was to explore the programs offered by Assumption that complement the talent and interest of these aspiring college students. During their visit, the students heard a presentation from the Assumption Enrollment Management team, learned about financial aid options, participated in a campus tour, heard Assumption student success stories, and enjoyed lunch in Taylor Dining Hall. 

Last December, Ernst & Young representatives visited Assumption and were impressed with the community atmosphere, forward-thinking student organizations such as ALANA, the Presidential Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and its partnership with The BASE, an organization that combines sports and academic opportunities to empower student athletes to achieve their fullest potential. 

“There aren’t many true residential colleges in downtown Boston,” Stokes said. “So to have a campus so close to [a downtown area], it's a very different option to expose them to.” 

This was the first of what Stokes hopes to be many College MAP program visits to Assumption, as the institution has recently partnered with Ernst & Young to provide more opportunities for first-generation students and those who live in underserved communities to pursue their goal of earning a college degree.

“I know it was an extremely impactful day for our scholars,” Stokes said after the event, citing the ALANA panel as “particularly powerful” for the students. She added that following the visit, many of the students expressed a desire to apply to Assumption. 

“Our students need more support than a student with a long history of siblings and cousins and parents who have been [to college], so the mentorship we see here on campus for the students is something we know that our students would really benefit from,” she said.