GREEN: Message to high school seniors: It’s not OK to wear flip-flops when interviewing for a job.
That is just one of the mistakes young people make when looking for employment or even when trying to convince a scholarship panel they are deserving of financial aid, said members of Green Professionals Association.
The fledgling group hopes to impart that and similar tips to Green High School seniors as they educate them in the finer points of making a good first impression while it divvies up $6,000 in scholarship money over the next few weeks.
“When I was in high school, I had great opportunities to earn scholarships. It’s important to make sure we are giving back,” said Jennifer Borowy, 25, assistant vice president and branch manager of the PNC bank branch in Green and one of the founding members of the association.
At a time most people Borowy’s age are more concerned with building a family — she and her husband, Greg, are expecting their first child in a couple of months — or getting their own careers established, several Green High graduates decided to form an association with the goal of mentoring students only slighter younger than themselves.
In November, the group sponsored its first fundraising event. The 5K Turkey Trot Run and Walk brought out 625 runners on Thanksgiving Day and collected $10,000 to help young people and the community.
Association members will begin accepting applications this month to award a $3,000, a $2,000 and a $1,000 scholarship to deserving seniors.
Members of the association see the subsequent interviewing process for those awards as a way to mentor applicants for other future face-to-face meetings.
In 2011, several young professionals decided they would dedicate a portion of their busy lives to connecting with high school students in an attempt to keep their talent in their hometown after they graduate from college.
Bill Cundiff, 26, a financial adviser, came up with the idea to start the association after mentoring another football player at his alma mater, Ashland University.
“In high school, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet and shadow other people,” Cundiff said.
Christopher J. Meager, 26, another founding member, said the group boasts a roster of 30 people and offers networking opportunities for members who aren’t all in their 20s.
“We have several older members and some retired teaching professionals in the group. But we’re even learning a lot from people our own age,” said Meager, a University of Akron Law School grad who is studying for his bar exam and working at the Brennan, Manna & Diamond Law Firm.
Ciarra Morrow, a 2006 graduate who is employed by Ron Marhofer Auto in Green, is another founding member who serves on its board of directors. She was out of the country and unavailable for the interview.
Joe Asher, a 2001 graduate, took on the role of chairman of the events committee when he joined the association. A 29-year-old financial planner, Asher said the group is fostering the idea that Green is a great place to live.
“We all went to Green High School and see the opportunities here for young people. We’d like them to stay in Green,” he said.
The Green Professionals Association meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the city’s Central Administration Building, 1755 Town Park Blvd. Any professional affiliated with the city is welcome to attend.
Call 330-697-7261 or visit www.green-professionals- association.org for more information.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.