Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Club Engages GED Candidates

Georgetown students will teach business and entrepreneurial skills to GED diploma candidates in Columbia Heights through Venture Forward, a new club focused on education and mentorship that officially launched this month.

Venture Forward aims to build relationships between Georgetown students and the Latin American Youth Center, a program in Columbia Heights that already works with recent GED diploma recipients not enrolled in college and young adults working toward GED certificates. LAYC students range from 16- to 25-year-olds, and the program also enrolls them in information technology and health care courses.

“I thought the young adults in the community could talk about the issues they had growing up, talk about the things they would have loved to have,” Venture Forward founder Sam Gyory (COL ’15) said. “Basically, the idea behind it is that they’ve all grown up in Washington, D.C., and they know the social issues in [the area] better than anyone at Georgetown does.”

In the fall semester, Venture Forward will focus on education, while the group will implement these lessons in D.C. next spring.

“You get to apply your skills — the skills that you’ve learned in the first part of this course and the skills you’ve learned in school,” Gyory said. “Any type of talents you have, you will learn to apply.”

Though Georgetown students will learn from the education targeted at Columbia Heights-area students, the club primarily aims to empower LAYC students and to stress the importance of college.

“I think even though they’re in this program, it can still kind of become just mindless going to school every day and getting to a point where you’re like, ‘What’s the point of going to this?’” Gyory said. “This is a way to keep inspiring them to be like ‘College is important,’ … [that] these are the [necessary] skills … and how college can help with that.”

Club member Brett Treacy (MSB ’15) agreed.

“To me, education isn’t as much about what you learn as what you do with it,” Treacy said.

Gyory hopes that Venture Forward will help students break out of the “Georgetown bubble.”

“Georgetown students could learn more about the city that they’re in. … I felt that my freshman year, [I didn’t] know anything about Washington,” Gyory said.

Club member Betsy Alfano (MSB ’15) said that she was excited to work with members of the D.C. community.

“I’m excited to take my classroom skills off campus and meet members of the D.C. community,” Alfano said. “There is an incredible entrepreneurial spirit in Washington, and Venture Forward’s ultimate goal is to grow and cultivate the passions and dreams of others.”

Gyory said he decided to start Venture Forward after leaving campus through the D.C. Schools Project and Grassroot Hoyas.

“What I really like is that it will be fostering a relationship with someone in the community [who] is your own age,” Gyory said. “This is something that the programs here don’t really have — a lot of it is youth and you’re the mentor, but it’s not really a collaborative relationship where you’re equal to the person you’re working with.”

Venture Forward will hold another meeting before the end of the semester to establish plans for the fall.

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