Monday, January 22, 2007

'Stomp the Yard Movie' Features Work-Study College Student

Yes, it's possible to afford college while "stepping," studying and attracting the sweetheart of your dreams. That's the frugal message from Stomp the Yard, a hit movie now playing in theaters across the country.

The storyline travels to "Truth University," a fictional Historically Black University and College, (HBUC) where the lead character, DJ, enrolls on a scholarship. As part of his scholarship, he works on the grounds maintenance crew run by his uncle on campus.

While planting flowers, hauling clippings and cutting grass, DJ learns a lot about life. He takes pride in his work and many scenes in the movie feature DJ hard at work. In fact, although the movie features the stepping, stomping, hip-hop dance moves of the lead character, many scenes showcase DJ as a work-study student. He works just as hard as he steps.

DJ has an incredible work ethic. And that was a message, I was so happy to share with my boys. (We watched the movie at a super-cheap matinee near my parents' home.) The dance, stepping and stomping scenes are electric.

Work-study programs are a valuable way to finance college. My parents attended Cheney State College, another HBUC in Pennsylvania. As college students in the 50s and early 60s, they worked hard while attending classes.

Fastfoward to Georgetown University in the fall of 1976, and you'll find me in the school cafeteria dishing out hash brown and quiche. That was the first job I ever had in my entire life, excluding babysitting. (I was a pampered suburban girl.) The tuition at Georgetown was expensive, and my parents paid for most of it. But I helped out a bit with summer jobs and work-study jobs on campus.

Here's a list of my positions on campus:

*food server in the cafeteria
*peer counseler for the Minority Student Affairs program
*summer housekeeping staff (cleaned dorm rooms for salary and free room during the summer months)
*writing tutor at the Writing Center run by the Prof. James Slevin.
*resident assistant (dorm floor leader)

I loved my years at Georgetown and every form of employment added a lot to my sense of self, responsibility and character. The work-study program was an important part of my education.

Here's a link to an earlier post about college costs, denial and families.
Free money Finance also offers this excellent piece on college costs.


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