Seniors Paying it Forward (SPIF) is a way for Young Harris College graduating seniors to leave a lasting and recognizable impact on campus. The Class of 2014, the second graduating class to participate in SPIF, had a remarkable 92 percent participation rate this year, surpassing their 75 percent goal.
In January, seniors received a piggy bank to fill with spare change, signifying that a little “change” can make a big difference. Seniors frequently gathered during monthly roundups on campus as well as a special commuters lunch and a class celebration at the end of the semester. During these events, seniors learned about the impact of alumni giving—and that the dollar amount is not as important as the gesture of giving back and paying it forward.
A scholarship made it possible for Kelsey Britt, ’14, of Douglasville, to obtain her bachelor’s degree in education from YHC this spring. She was thrilled to find out she could do the same for a future student through her gift.
“I learned that I can help make a difference for a future student by supporting scholarships through my gifts,” said Britt. “Not only do I think it’s important to help give back to a school that has helped shape my future, but it’s an amazing feeling to know I am helping another student fulfill their college dreams through financial support.”
Paige McQuade, of Hayesville, N.C., said her SPIF involvement helped her appreciate the role she will continue to play in the YHC community as an alumna—and also the importance of giving in ensuring that her degree from YHC will continue to signify excellence in higher education.
“SPIF has taught me the importance of giving back to the place I have treasured over the past four years and will continue to treasure for the rest of my life,” said McQuade, who recently received her bachelor’s degree in communication studies. “The scholarships I received have meant more to me than I can even put into words. Because of those financial gifts, I gained an education that has enriched my mind and allowed me to become a much more critical thinker. I’m confident about entering the world because I know I received an excellent education.”
To recognize their participation in SPIF as well as their transition to alumni, all seniors were encouraged to participate in the recent Alumni Weekend festivities. The group also celebrated their success together during a class picnic on Thursday, May 1, held at Mayors Park in Young Harris. They made and relived memories with a photo booth, senior slideshow and yearbook signings.