Arizona State University has arrived in Payson, thanks to the efforts of local volunteers and excited middle- and high-school students.
A new outreach program called Club ASU is connecting Arizona youth with the Tempe-based state university by showcasing university events and activities while letting kids know that there’s much more to college than textbooks and term papers.
“We want kids to know that college is not just a lot of work,” said Scott Flake, the chapter’s local sponsor and financial advisor with Edward Jones.
“The club is fun for kids and parents and offers many opportunities.”
Scott and Tedi Flake began a Club ASU chapter in Payson earlier this month with the hope of cultivating a college-bound attitude in local youth.
To commemorate the occasion, the new chapter held an informal kick-off pizza party at the Flake residence to give students in the area a chance to gain information and sign up for Club ASU.
The Flake’s oldest daughter, Jami, is a sophomore at ASU studying nutrition, and is enrolled in Barrett, The Honors College.
“We think (Club ASU) is an excellent program, and we like working with ASU,” Flake said.
“With five kids (of our own), we thought it would be something we could take on and do with our family and other kids in the community.”
Thirteen local students along with parents attended the start-up meeting, and more people are interested in becoming involved in Payson’s Club ASU, Flake said.
The chapter plans on increasing membership through events that will introduce ASU to local youngsters and explore many exciting aspects that the university offers.
“A big part of attending college is the fun, the culture, the sports, the arts and the social parts of school,” Flake said.
A vote was taken at the meeting, and the group agreed on “Payson-Tontozona” chapter, in honor of the university’s former football training camp, located near Christopher Creek.
Two to four activities are planned per year through the chapter.
Although the chapter was still unofficial, a group of Payson students and chaperones traveled to Tempe last November to watch the Sun Devils battle UCLA on the football field, Flake said.
The Flakes plan on more trips and outings for the Club ASU chapter to foster an interest in attending college among local youth.
Future events could include an ASU campus tour, hosting an ASU student in Payson to speak about the university, observing an ASU class and attending a play or concert at the university, Flake said.
The chapter’s next meeting will be held in August or September.
Parents or students interested in joining Club ASU can go to www.clubasu.asu.edu for more information. Contact Flake at (928) 474-9139.