Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 29, 2017

Harrison Elementary%2c Manny

Children from Harrison Elementary School surround Manny the mascot during Walk into My Future on Friday, Sept. 22. Over 2,500 young students joined the North Manchester campus for the annual events while Manchester students ensured that the children enjoyed their experience. 

Photo by Sarah Shoemaker 


Walk into My Future Event Educates Children about College 

Evan Harris 

A storm of elementary school students made landfall on Friday, Sept. 22, when about 2,500 children from 15 nearby schools descended on campus in a sea of vibrant-colored shirts for the annual Walk into My Future event.

Walk into My Future, which began in 2013, was designed to excite elementary school students about college in general and make them aware of the various opportunities that Manchester in particular has to offer.

Although the heat on Friday could be compared to an oven set on broil and forced people to run for shade and water, the children weren’t discouraged from enjoying themselves. The atmosphere was filled with joyous screams, laughter, fun and sack lunches.

Alexis Young, director of conference services, shared her favorite moments of the event. “I loved seeing how excited the children were, as well as receiving positive messages (feedback) from the teachers,” she said. “I also loved seeing the Manchester community come together for this event.”

Yet all events have organizational challenges behind the scenes. “The main problem is that we always struggle to get enough volunteers for the event,” Young said.

Young believes the event will inspire the young students. “I think the elementary students will begin thinking about the many different opportunities that they can have in college, and beyond college.” Young also thinks the event inspired the visiting teachers. “The teachers can definitely learn from this experience, and can use it to create real-world applications for their students,” she said.

Based on the turnout at this year’s event, which was 500 students more than in 2016, Young has an optimistic outlook for next year’s event. “We really want more Manchester students to be excited about volunteering for events like this,” she said.

Chris Sloan, director of community engagement for the Wabash County YMCA, had only one suggestion. “I wish for cooler weather next year,” he said with a chuckle. “Even though it was hot, the event went really well and we received a lot of positive feedback from the visiting teachers.”