June 22, 2015

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU Welcomed Migrant Leadership Academy to Campus

Valdosta State University welcomed 30 migrant students to campus on Thursday, June 11 as part of a continued partnership with the Georgia Migrant Education Leadership Academy.

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University welcomed 30 migrant students to campus on Thursday, June 11 as part of a continued partnership with the Georgia Migrant Education Leadership Academy.

The visit was coordinated by Dr. Leslie S. Jones, associate professor of science education in the Department of Biology, and Marisela Trejo, VSU alumna and resource specialist with the Georgia Migrant Education Leadership Academy.

“I am very committed to diversity issues in education,” said Jones. “I got my Ph.D. because I wanted to work on educational equity. I’m both a biologist, and an educator. I try to do things that take science and use it as a part of university outreach.”

The day’s events included informative sessions with representatives from Admissions and Financial Aid, a tour of the campus, and a variety of lab-based activities and lessons coordinated by Jones in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center.

“We pretty much want to expose the students to college life and the opportunities provided to them, because a lot of them have never stepped foot on a college campus and they are first generation college students,” said Trejo. “A lot of the kids had many questions about the different majors. Some of them don’t particularly understand that there are a lot of majors out there. While many believe that they have to choose between a doctor, a nurse, or a teacher, they don’t understand that there’s other areas that they can choose to study.

“I am a VSU graduate from the College of Education and a former student of Dr. Jones’ Integrated Science Content course. I know that Dr. Jones is very hands-on when it comes to teaching. That’s what our students need. Some students are very fluent in English, and then we also have some kids who are more fluent in other languages. It’s important that they have these concrete lessons and experiences, and she is really great about doing that for our students when they visit the university.”

Contact Dr. Leslie S. Jones at (229) 219-1337 or lesliesj@valdosta.edu for more information.

About the Georgia Migrant Education Leadership Academy:

The Georgia Migrant Education Leadership Academy is a two-week residential summer program for rising ninth through 12th graders held at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College that exposes children of migrant farm workers from across the state to higher education.

The program is designed to encourage migrant students to become more involved in writing and core academic subjects, such as language arts, mathematics, and science. Students take part in a variety of teambuilding activities, motivational workshops, and academic classes in an effort to convey the importance of a high school diploma and a post-secondary education.

About the Migrant Education Program:

The Migrant Education Program is a federally funded program designed to support comprehensive educational programs for migrant children to help reduce the educational disruption and other problems that result from repeated moves.

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