Spreading Penguin joy at area high schools

The Student Government Association at Youngstown State University has been visiting local high schools in an effort to promote the university.

SGA’s University Affairs Committee decided to take on the project to show prospective students what YSU has to offer.

Sarah Perrine, vice president for university affairs, said members of SGA would visit high school classrooms or hang out with students during lunch periods to promote the university.

“The first school we went to was very brief. We didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “We asked where they applied and if YSU was on the list. We told them why YSU was the right choice for us.”

University students have already paid visits to Austintown Fitch, Canfield, Lakeview, Lowellville and Boardman high schools. SGA members gave presentations that contained images of the YSU campus, ranging from campus buildings to the different food options.

Alyssa Olmi, SGA representative, said most high school students don’t know what campus looks like and aren’t aware what clubs and organizations are available to students.

“We didn’t go to shoot off numbers. We were there to show them YSU from a student’s perspective,” Olmi said.

Olmi said they focused on speaking to high school juniors because most seniors have already decided on their choice of college.

“We gave students a visual of what its on campus. We want to help change the image of YSU,” Olmi said. “All the schools have been very responsive.”

Perrine said they sat down with students during lunch for five minutes at a time.

“The more we talked, the more they seemed interested. People were considering YSU and we didn’t expect that,” she said.

Both Olmi and Perrine said they weren’t sure how successful promoting YSU at the high schools would be.

“I didn’t think every school was going to welcome us but it turned out to be a pretty big project,” Perrine said.

Olmi said she hopes they changed any negative perceptions of YSU and students will consider the university an option, despite being close to home.

“A lot of kids asked how the parties were at YSU. We chose to steer away from the party aspect,” Olmi said.

Members of SGA will visit Struthers High School on May 17th, Mineral Ridge High School on April 16th and Howland High School on April 18th.