The Elon Academy held an open house Sept. 25 to showcase the new location of the Elon Academy offices in the Powell House.
“We wanted to have an open house so people could come and see our new location,” said Deborah Long, director of the Elon Academy.
The expansion of the Elon Academy program and the availability of space in the Powell House, located across from the tennis courts on Elon’s campus, contributed to the decision for the Elon Academy to move offices.
“As our program has expanded and we have increased our staff and services, there became a need for a larger space,” Long said. “The Powell House became available when environmental studies moved to their new home in the McMichael Building, and physical therapy education moved to the new Francis Center.”
Approximately 75 people came to the open house. Long said she believes the move is beneficial for the program.
“We are very happy with the move,” Long said. “Having our offices in a house is inviting for our scholars and families. We have student engagement space for our Elon University student mentors and workers, the parking is accessible for visitors and we have the Community Garden right next door.”
Nita Skillman, parent of Cummings High School’s 2012 valedictorian Seth Gerringer, said she attended the Elon Academy open house to see the new location of the organization that helped her son successfully find his way into Wake Forest University.
Gerringer began the Elon Academy program when he was a freshman at Cummings after a friend recommended the program, according to Skillman. As a student in the Elon Academy program, Gerringer would live on Elon’s campus for five weeks each summer.
“The academy gave him the chance to be a college student and helped him with everything from personal schedule programming to how to deal with a roommate to providing him with academic support,” Skillman said.
According to Long, this is exactly what the program seeks to accomplish.
“Our goal is to get them to and through college,” Long said.
Since the academy was founded in 2007, more than 130 students and 350 family members have been supported and guided through the program, according to the academy’s annual report this year.
The students in the academy come from all six Alamance County high schools and one public charter school. Elon Academy serves students with limited financial resources and no family history of college attendance, and helps these students obtain scholarships to pay for a college education.
For Gerringer’s mother, the program provided support where it was needed most.
“The Elon Academy gave my son a chance to go to college when he may not have otherwise had the chance,” Skillman said.