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Parents and Grandparents of Young Harris College Students Lead by Example

July 2014

At Young Harris College, care packages are just the beginning of the contributions parents and grandparents make in their students’ lives. After years of quietly supporting their students and serving as ambassadors within their communities, these family members have the chance to play more active roles in shaping the present and future of their student’s educational experience: the recently established Parents/Grandparents Council and Fund.

The Parents/Grandparents Council allows those who care about their students to forge meaningful relationships with fellow parents and grandparents. Members encourage dialogue and engagement and serve as a link between family members and the College. The Council participates in many YHC events including Family Weekend, alumni connections and receptions hosted by the Office of Admissions.

“The Parents/Grandparents Fund provides funds needed for many important things tuition just can’t cover, and the Council is a great way for us to feel involved in our children’s college experience,” said Rachel Clark, of Norcross, whose daughter, Sheldon, is a sophomore at YHC. “Many of us relished reading to our children's elementary classes, going on field trips and being at school for project presentations. Sadly, that all comes to an end as our children get older—but this initiative allows us to continue participating in their lives.”

Other parents like Chris Edwards, of Griffin, share a similar desire to stay connected to their children’s education. His daughter, Savannah, is a sophomore outdoor leadership major at YHC.

“I’ve certainly been pleased with what she has learned at YHC,” said Edwards. “More than anything she’s learned in the classroom, everyone has nurtured her love of learning. After seeing how much she’s grown at YHC, it’s only natural to give back to a place that’s taken such good care of my daughter.”

Clark added that while YHC’s commitment to education is clear, the familial atmosphere her daughter has experienced has meant even more. Hearing stories about professors inviting her daughter’s class over to dinner provides a sense of comfort.

“Sheldon is so happy at YHC that she never wants to leave—it’s a home away from home for her. My husband and I are absolutely thrilled that she cares about her school so much and that her school cares about her as well,” said Clark. “I hung onto every word current parents said when I went to START Orientation. I valued their advice and knowledge, so now I want to give that to future YHC parents.”

One of the Parents/Grandparents Council’s primary goals is to raise funds annually to bolster core priorities of the College such as student research tools, state-of-the-art classroom equipment and stimulating campus programming. The Council also helps establish connections that can lead to internships and other professional opportunities for students.

“Any edge we can give our students as they prepare to enter the next phase of their lives is something I'm proud to be a part of and promote,” said Clark. “I want to continue to see YHC grow in excellence and our students be the best they can be. By giving to this Fund, we can achieve this goal and feel pride that we got to help our students along the way.”

For more information about the YHC Parents/Grandparents Council or the YHC Parents/Grandparents Fund, contact Senior Director of Development Stacie Barrow at (706) 379-5375 or slbarrow@yhc.edu.