Community / August 7, 2017

High School Girls Invest in Learning

Rachel Hacker, a rising high school sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind., never saw college in her future. But her perspective changed following a residency program July 16-21, 2017, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

“Before I came here, I wasn’t planning on going to college,” she said during the closing reception for Women Investing in Learning Leadership (WILL). The program, presented by the school’s Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets in partnership with the Undergraduate Office, is designed for rising 10th grade girls to empower and prepare them for college and professional careers.

Hacker said living on campus, attending site visits and preparing a leadership plan helped her recognize the importance of higher education. “I see myself going to college now,” she said. “And I plan to share the message where I’m from.”

Participants came from different parts of the country but bonded quickly with team building activities that included a ropes course. “I came down and everyone applauded,” Hacker said. “It’s a good community here.”

Ahmoni Martin, another WILL participant from Philadelphia, said an improvisation activity also pushed the girls out of their comfort zones and taught them to trust each other. “I learned a lot from my classmates during the past week,” she said.

Overall, the program served 12 participants from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. NewDay USA sponsored three students and hosted a site visit to corporate headquarters in Fulton, Md. Marriott International also sponsored a site visit to its headquarters in Bethesda, Md.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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