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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Bauer empowers middle-school students with STEP program


The Stars of Tomorrow Excellence Program welcomed 15 students from Edison Middle School to the C. T. Bauer College of Business on Friday for a day of empowerment in areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, community service and most importantly, college planning.

Since the spring of 2010, STEP has been working with middle and high school students to become leaders who will shape the future.

“We find that these students have never stepped on a college campus because many of their family members didn’t go to college,” Bauer Program Coordinator Natalia Lara said.

In the area of financial literacy, the middle school students utilized a website called Texas Reality Check to answer a questionnaire to help them understand how much life will cost after they graduate in terms of healthcare, automobiles, housing, entertainment, food, savings and more. At the end of the questionnaire, the website provides the annual income and career needed to support the lifestyle selected by the students.

“After seeing their results, we let the students know that college is needed if they want to live like that,” Program Manager Joyce Williams said.

The annual income averages from the questionnaire results ranged between $60,000 and $80,000. The careers needed to meet these income levels included engineers, lawyers, market research analysts, financial managers and programmers.

These Edison Middle School students will be working closely with Bauer to hold a food drive at their school. They were placed into three teams: initiative, marketing and inventory. As part of the leadership focus, each team is assigned a leader. The goal of the food drive is not only to learn entrepreneur and leadership skills, but also to learn about the importance of community service.

When reminding students as to why they are having a food drive, William said, “It is not just part of the STEP program. It is a community event and you represent Edison.”

Through STEP, students will continue learning how essential a college education is for life. The program can make going to college more attainable despite financial hurdles.

“It is good for them to see people like them in college,” said Lara.

The UH staff meets with the students every other week to ensure they are on the right track. Also, students receive mailings twice a year about the College Access program to help with college planning.

“It is a great program. These students need good direction in their lives, and I think it is great how UH faculty and staff show them the positive in life,” said Edison Middle School clerk Sandra Benavidez.

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