NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — Members of HYPE9, a young professional group run by the Corridor Nine Chamber of Commerce, recently spoke to students at Assabet Valley Regional Vocational Technical School about the value of education.
Only recently out of college themselves, the HYPE9 members encouraged Assabet students to join the Assabet State Scholar Program, which offers a rigorous academic program. Beginning their freshman year, students in the program take four years of English, three years of math, three years of science, three and one-half years of social studies two years of a foreign language and two years of health and physical education while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.
The purpose of the program, which Assabet has run since 2006, is to prepare students for an increasingly competitive workforce.
“The presenters, all of whom are employed by area companies, shared their ‘real-world’ experiences," Assabet Admissions Coordinator Cindy Zomar said. "They were able to show the students what happens to that paycheck before it ever gets cashed at the bank, and then show them how piece by piece, essentials eat away at the net amount until you hope you have enough left over to get to the next paycheck. The bottom line is, the better education you have, and the more you challenge yourself, the more likely it is that you will find success out there to continually increase your paycheck."
This year, 86 Assabet students are on track to graduate as State Scholars. Zomar said that there has also been an increase in students signing up for honors or advanced placement courses. "We attribute much of that to wanting to maintain their State Scholar status,” she added.
“It seems like such an ideal program that empowers youth to truly put their best foot forward while in high school,” said Erin Harper, director of marketing and development for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest. Harper was one of the HYPE9 members to speak to students.
“It was a wonderful feeling because a lot of students signed up [for the State Scholars program] on the spot.”