LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - Louisville's education movement 55,000 Degrees is joining forces with community partners to celebrate the commitment of Louisville high school students to earn their college degrees.
All high school seniors pledging to go to college are invited to I'm Going to College 55K Signing Day.
"We're committed to adding 55,000 more college graduates in the Louisville area by 2020," said Mayor Greg Fischer, chairman of 55,000 Degrees. "Each high school senior making the decision to go to college is getting us one step closer to our goal, while putting themselves on the path to a brighter future."
Mayor Fischer will take part in signing day festivities Saturday to recognize students' hard work and dedication. The event is free and open to the public.
I'm Going to College 55K Signing Day
Saturday, May 31, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
1701 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.
Mayor Fischer said this is an effort the entire community can support. He declared Saturday, May 31 "College Spirit Day." Fischer is encouraging all residents to show their college spirit and support for students beginning their college careers by wearing t-shirts and other college apparel.
The pep rally evolved into a signing day event, with students signing a commitment to attend college and earn their degrees. "Deciding to go to college is a time of celebration for students," said Mary Gwen Wheeler, 55,000 Degrees executive director. "Special recognition should extend to all students, not just athletes who capture headlines when signing letters of intent."
Several area colleges and universities are taking part in I'm Going to College 55K Signing Day, giving students a chance to connect with staff and other students before starting college. Efforts are designed to help prevent "summer melt," seen when students enroll for college, but don't attend in the fall. Nearly 20% of JCPS students who file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) do not enroll in college in the fall.
Schools taking part in I'm Going to College 55K Signing Day include:
University of Louisville Sullivan University
University of Kentucky Spencerian College
Jefferson Community & Technical College Ivy Tech Community College
Bellarmine University Kentucky State University
Spalding University Murray State University
Indiana University Southeast Western Kentucky University
Students taking part in I'm Going to College 55K Signing Day will be encouraged to use social media to share pictures and updates throughout the day, #ig2c.
A limited number of free t-shirts will be available to participants and door prizes will be offered, including several TARC Summer Youth Passes offering unlimited travel through August 31. Texas Roadhouse is providing free food. Sponsors include 55,000 Degrees, I'm Going to College, 15K Degrees Initiative, Jefferson County Public Schools, Archdiocese of Louisville, KentuckianaWorks, Louisville Urban League, KHEAA and Louisville Metro Police Foundation.