Young Harris College’s Class Scholarship Challenge, which kicks off on Friday, Jan. 31, is an easy and effective way for alumni to contribute to the success of current and future YHC students—while also engaging in a little friendly competition.
Alumni from across the generations rally together to help deserving students attend their alma mater during this annual push to raise funds for student scholarships. YHC alumna Leslie DeMore Frierson, ’99, of Gainesville, first heard of the challenge in 2012, and immediately knew she wanted to participate.
“I’ve worked in the education field for the past 20 years, so many of my former students are currently making plans for college,” said Frierson. “I know the availability of scholarships and financial aid weighs heavily on a student’s college choice. Giving to the Class Scholarship Challenge is a way to ensure my gifts directly assist a student with academic expenses.”
Last year, 60 classes participated in the challenge, and 15 surpassed the $1,000 goal. More than $56,000 was raised, representing an increase of more than $20,000 from the inaugural challenge held in 2011-2012.
YHC Alumni Board member and Class Coordinator Ben Persons, ’94, of Marietta, pointed out that the percentage of class participation is almost more important than the amount of funds raised.
“Many prospective students and parents look to various college ranking guides when choosing a school,” Persons explained. “One of the factors these guides use to rank institutions is the percentage of alumni giving. The more alumni we can convince to make even a modest gift, the better YHC will do on these ranking guide lists.”
Additionally, a high level of support indicates to outside donors that alumni are supportive of what the institution is doing, what it stands for, and where it is headed and consider themselves a part of its growth and success.
Persons has organized a group from the Class of 1994 who plan to reach out to their classmates in hopes of bolstering support for the challenge.
“My time at the College had a huge impact on my life,” said Persons. “I love this school and I want to see it succeed. Participating in the Class Scholarship Challenge is one of many ways I can give back to YHC and its students.”
Frierson’s class has encouraged participation through social media and letter campaigns, but it is the chance to directly support YHC students that drives her enthusiasm for the challenge.
“As time goes by, you start to reflect on the important influences in your life,” said Frierson. “YHC is a special place to many people. I've enjoyed visiting the campus and seeing the development of new buildings and programs of study. It's exciting to see that with all the growth, YHC is still the warm, beautiful, inspiring place it has always been. It’s important for me to find ways to support my first home away from home.”
Alumni interested in participating can make a gift now marked for the Class Scholarship Challenge, make a gift online or call the Office of Advancement at (800) 241-3754 or (706) 379-5173.