By Judy Sullivan
AIMS celebrates another first this year. Besides its record-breaking enrollment and expanded curriculum, 2012 marks the first year that ASMS graduates have enrolled their children in the AIMS summer program. Class of 1993 alum Kara Mizell Collins sent daughter Emily and class of 1995 alum Karen Moye Few sent daughters Ashleigh and Jessie Green.
For Few, who lives in Leroy, AL, and works at Brewton Iron Works, the opportunity to send her daughter to AIMS brings back memories of her time spent on campus. In fact, Ashleigh is named after Few’s closest friend from ASMS, fellow 1995 grad Ashleigh Weeks. “ASMS helped me grow really close to friends and it also taught me to take responsibility for my life,” she said. “I had to learn to balance a checkbook at age 16 and really manage my money.”
Collins lives in Spanish Fort, AL, with her husband and two daughters. She works at Roberts Brothers Realty and was honored as the 2011 Rookie of the Year. “I really can’t believe this day has come,” said Collins as she checked her daughter into the camp last weekend. “Although I know Emily will have a great time, it feels like only yesterday that I graduated.” Like Few, Collins named her other daughter, Sarah, after 1993 grad Sarah Walker, who was Collins’ roommate and continues to be a close friend.
Having alumni send their children to the camp is an “encouraging phenomenon” to ASMS physics instructor Dr. Garvin Wattuhewa, who has taught at the school since it was founded. “I love to see our grads send their kids to AIMS,” he said. “It’s great because it’s exciting for alumni to share the ASMS experience with their children.”
ASMS plans to next year offer a tuition discount for children of alumni. “We want to encourage our alumni to send their children to AIMS and we think a discount will help,” said camp director John Hoyle.
Pictured: Dr. Wattuhewa with Ashleigh and Jessie Green and Dr. Wattuhewa with Emily Collins.