Book Awards and AAC/Candidates Chair Activities
This is a very sophisticated and remarkably organized effort in our region. The Book Awards Chair coordinates the distribution of book awards to students from 18 regional high schools (public, parochial, and independent schools). Awarded for their excellence in the areas of academics, athletics, performing and visual/literary arts, and community service, these students are highlighted for their future potential. Many have not heard of Smith College before and this recognition encourages them to have high expectations. And – those in the audience identify with the presenter and the opportunity!
This effort requires significant coordination with regional school counselors to identify recipients, deliver the award book, and deliver alumnae and/or current Smith students to be present at the award ceremonies. The counselors learn from us – they begin to see in a different way whom they should refer to apply. The local connection makes all of the difference!
The award itself is beautiful – Smith Voices – a book designed by Smith College to showcase alumnae who have expressed themselves in the verbal and visual arts. It is a handsome book for all of us to enjoy and share. Contact your friendly Smith College AASC!
With the 18 regional high schools, we work to find the very best candidates for Smith. Once the Book Awards have been given, we invite the award winners and their parents to our annual Pizza Party at the end of August. Current students are back from summer internships and other exciting ventures and know the drill – they were here themselves not so many years ago and love being ambassadors (and reconnecting with regional friends). New Smith students are eager to meet others from the region before school starts (all sorts of networking occurs along the lines of book-purchasing, transportation, and choice of classes). And parents of candidates enjoy seeing the variety of young women and alumnae who constitute this incredible life-long connection. AND, MYSTIC does make the best pizza!
Once the serious candidates are identified, we invite them and their parents to tea, usually during the winter vacation from school. Parents are also invited. The date is chosen specifically to allow candidates and current students alike to attend before classes resume again. Our current students are our best ambassadors – because they have seen the “production” before, they know that they are the “go-to-girls” for the Q&A period of the tea. They are REMARKABLE! All of the alumnae who are invited say that this reminds them why they went to Smith! (We should charge for admission to this event!)
WHY ARE WE INVOLVED?
- Because we know that we make a difference in women’s lives…
- Because we know that Smith made a difference in our lives…
- Because we are reminded what passion and idealism we had….
- Because we know that our passion and idealism resulted in ….
With the help of 3-4 alumnae, we represent Smith College at a number of local high school and community college fairs. We have narrowed our supplies to a Navy blue sheet (covers any size of table allowed) and until recently have pinned the Smith College fold-out onto the front of that sheet. (Have just purchased the AASC Navy blue nylon sign, but that will still have to fold over the larger sheet coverage.)
While we still have stockpiled numerous fabulous handouts from Smith. we have found that our best fast PR is our big 2-page fold out presentation board on which we pin the newest photos & lists of majors from Smith. We also have a big notebook full of Smith info & photos – to share as a cheat-sheet for the fair-representative.
At local college fairs, we feature the exhibits mentioned above, plus whatever handouts are available. Frankly, our best PR is our nametag and who we are – members of our community who care about our young women. We use college fairs to network with students, their parents, teachers, and other colleges (they and we are remarkably good at referring students to the right place for them). Sometimes we recruit ADAS among the college reps at the fairs!
This year, we have had 29 applicants, 13 of whom were admittted by Smith, and 6 accepted Smith’s offer, our largest incoming group!. They are all remarkable young women/ADA candidates and transfers — we know that we grow exciting women in SE CT!