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On Aug. 20, 2020 the University of Georgia begins classes, welcoming students on campus as they initiate reopening after being closed since March and moving all classes online due to COVID-19. Many students wore masks when inside buildings and when walking around campus. (Photo/Caroline Head, chead@randb.com)

Next Generation UGA is starting its first year on the University of Georgia’s campus this semester, according to a press release

After starting school at the University of Georgia last year, sophomore management information systems and international affairs major Jeremiah de Sesto said he recognized that he was “quite privileged” with the high school resources he had. From college counselors to university tours, de Sesto said he realized other students aren’t afforded the same opportunities. 

Along with a group of friends, de Sesto co-founded NextGen UGA and currently serves as president. The organization connects UGA students with high schoolers in Athens-Clarke County. College students will provide guidance to their mentees on topics ranging from “the college application process, resume building, finding scholarships and interview coaching.”

“Next Gen is going to be an incredible club that will make a powerful impact in both the Athens community and the UGA student body,” de Sesto said in the press release. “Our team has dedicated a lot into creating this organization and I’m excited to see how far it will go.”

Backed by UGA’s College of Education, the organization is still working to partner with local schools, although it aims to help any students in Athens as well as those in surrounding counties, de Sesto said. 

“My biggest hope is that for the first time in their lives, some of these students are going to have a mentor, a friend, a person that they can rely on in terms of help in terms of someone who's already been there,” de Sesto said.

Applications for the organization are available on NextGen UGA’s social media platforms and on the UGA involvement network. The first meeting will be held in October.