Nearly 70 Triton School Corporation kindergartners visited the Ancilla College campus Monday, October 12th, as part of the PromiseIndiana program to promote 529 college savings plans.
The visit included a look at the Ancilla College chapel with campus ministries staff, a chat with the athletics department about its 19 athletic programs, a meeting with real nursing students in the nursing lab, a fun activity with education majors who explained how Ancilla College has a comprehensive and free tutoring program, a visit to President Dr. Ken Zirkle’s office and a look inside a science lab where they got to do real science.
Triton students were wowed by all the campus has to offer, some getting a first-ever peek inside a Catholic chapel, learning that men can be nurses and cheerleaders, making a Halloween bracelet and getting to watch a time lapse video of the first residence hall construction.
Later, the Ancilla College national qualifying Cheer Team did some of their most spectacular cheers to send off the students.
The tour was part of the Indiana 529 plan to help families save for college by getting children to formulate ideas about college as a real option earlier in their lives. Joining the tour were Connie Lemler, vice president of First Source Bank. Triton elementary principal Jeremy Riffle said First Source is donating $25 per student when their parents open a 529 college savings account.
Phil Maurizi also attended the event. Maurizi is from the Wabash County YMCA, and he is the Vice President of Promise Operations. Maurizi said low to moderate income children who have even $1 saved for college are three times more likely to enroll in college. “Although $1 does not pay for a college education, it creates the identity that ‘I am someone who goes to college.’ Assets are hope in a concrete form,” he said.
Triton School Corporation Superintendent Donna Burroughs, also in attendance, said programs like Monday’s tour help get young students and their families into the mindset that college is the next logical step after high school. She said many families have never been on any college campus or thought about higher education as a feasible option for their children.
By Amanda Petrucelli