Bringing community resources to Junior/Senior Scholars

Jul 25, 2013

Jon Howard ’12 returned to campus in July to volunteer with Junior/Senior Scholars—and brought a whole team of volunteers with him. An associate account executive for Travelers Insurance in Naperville, Howard serves on the company’s community relations committee and recruited 14 volunteers to help out as judges for a science fair and forensics presentations by the scholars during the annual parents’ day program.

Established in 1988, Junior/Senior Scholars is a comprehensive college readiness program that partners with high-need elementary and secondary schools in Aurora and Chicago. The goal is to provide students in under-resourced communities with the support they need to graduate from high school and then college. North Central students serve as mentors and tutors.

“It was a great opportunity for us to support Junior/Senior Scholars,” Howard says. “I was a volunteer tutor for the program while I was a student and I hope we can establish a relationship between the College and Travelers.” The company allows release time for employees to become community volunteers and matches financial donations.

The theme for the 2013 summer enrichment program was "Generation E” and focused on engineering principles. Howard helped judge the bridge-building efforts of the second grade class, along with his coworker, Debbie Ziemann. He had plenty of questions about construction and materials testing for Jesse Del Villar of Oak Park Elementary School in Aurora, who has already decided to become an engineer.