Suffolk Public Schools held its annual College and Career Readiness Fair at King’s Fork Middle School (KFMS) on Saturday, November 7, 2015. The fair was supported by the Suffolk Education Foundation, The Pruden Center for Industry and Technology and Chick-fil-A.
During the morning, approximately 400 students and parents were allowed to select four sessions offered by 19 different presenters. Presenters hailed from such places as the Governor’s School for the Arts, Paul D. Camp Community College, Tidewater Community College, ACCESS College Foundation, Scholarship Sharing, Suffolk Public Schools and the Economic Development Department for the City of Suffolk.
After lunch, activities moved to the KFMS gymnasium where the College Fair was being held. Between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., 22 colleges, universities and businesses as well as the U.S. Armed Forces and The Pruden Center for Industry and Technology shared a plethora of information with those who visited their booths. Pencils, coffee mugs, candy, notepads, tote bags and water bottles were among the items participants were provided free of charge.
One of the most popular sessions was “Graduate College Debt-Free.” Presenter Lorraine SantaLucia, president of Scholarship Sharing, provided students and parents to ensure they would be knowledgeable about the ways they could not only to fund college and to empower them to make smart financial decisions. She stated that 53% of all scholarships available each year are left untapped because no one applied for them. SantaLucia not only discussed scholarships available for high school students but also for adults wanting to return to school.
Eight of the workshops were designed specifically for middle school students and their parents. Workshops covered topics such as “Transitioning to High School, Project Lead the Way – Engineering, Project Lead the Way – Biomedical Sciences, International Baccalaureate, Governor’s School for the Arts, Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes, Get Ahead of the Game (graduating from high school with an Associate’s Degree and High School diploma) and advice from current high school students. The remaining workshops focused on high school students’ college and/or career choices. The choices included perspectives from current college students, Test-Taking Strategies, Careers in Technology, Finding Your Perfect College, Paying for College, NCAA Information, Graduate from College Debt-Free, Résumé Writing and Interview Skills, Pathways to Careers, and Job Opportunities in the City of Suffolk.
Students, parents, volunteers and presenters were treated to a lunch consisting of a Chick-fil-A sandwich, chips and a bottle of water. This provided an opportunity for everyone to relax as well as to network for future events. For some, it was also a chance to catch up with former colleagues and friends they had not seen in a while.