$96,000. That’s how much money Penn State University has committed to YES Program graduates that attend their Hazleton and Schuylkill campuses.

This one-time $1,000 offer is available to any student that has earned a YES certificate and is considered a full-time student by the university. So far, the scholarship has been accepted by 17 students at the Hazleton campus and 79 students at the Schuylkill campus since it was first offered in 2011.

“Penn State Schuylkill has been honored to partner with the Northeast PA Manufacturers and Employers Council by offering YES program graduates, who are starting their college experience at Penn State Schuylkill, a one-time $1000 award,” said Janelle Gruber, Penn State Schuylkill’s Director of Enrollment Services. “Each year we see more and more YES program graduates choosing our campus and taking advantage of this great opportunity. This relationship has encouraged local students to not only see our campus through visits, but also think through their college choices with that end goal of employability.”

Beyond the scholarships, the relationship between the two organizations was taken a step further during the fall of 2013 when Penn State Schuylkill began offering campus tours to YES students. The tours provide a great look inside the world of higher education.

The visit includes a presentation that discusses both the types of employment available in higher education as well as general college recruitment information on the campus, majors, student activities/events, and student aid.  YES students then get to take in the campus with tour guides.

These tour guides, also known as the Lion Ambassadors, are a great resource to YES students as most of them are only a year or two removed from high school. This allows them to give extra insight to the current students about what to expect in the coming years in addition to the information they are providing about the campus. These tours have been pivotal in helping students understand the resources available at Penn State Schuylkill and the employment opportunities that may be open to them with a Penn State degree.

It’s these types of tours that give YES students a leg up on their peers, as they’re receiving direct exposure to various industries and in this case, a secondary educational institution. The importance of this isn’t lost on the business community.

“Students who participate in the YES program are getting exposure to important topics tied to employment that many students would not learn about until after high school,” said Gruber. “The program gets them thinking about vital factors such as what is available in the region, what training/education is needed, and what steps that they would need to accomplish their employment goals.  When a student completes this program and chooses to come to Penn State, we know that they come to us with a skill set around employment topics, which is uncommon for most traditional aged college students.”

The Council would like to thank Penn State for their commitment to all of our programming. We look forward to continuing this relationship in the future!