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College advisers funded
Harvest grant for U.Va. Corps

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Harvest Foundation has awarded $72,000 to the University of Virginia College Advising Corps for the 2014-15 school year.

The corps provides recent University of Virginia graduates who work with local high school guidance departments to help students decide which college to attend and maneuver through the financial application process, according to a Harvest news release.

“The College Advisers program has made a significant impact on the future of many of our seniors. This program is helping to identify and encourage non-traditional students to pursue higher education and provides the necessary support. This support has helped Bassett High School seniors to earn more than $1 million in scholarships in 2013-14,” said John Gibbs, Bassett High School principal.

According to Harvest’s 2010-11 annual report, the area’s three college advisers met with more than 2,500 students in more than 1,500 one-on-one meetings. They held more than 170 classroom visits and assisted more than 2,000 students during 117 workshops.

Also, they helped 282 students in 66 SAT/ACT prep sessions and helped get waivers for more than 500 students who could not afford to pay for those tests, the report stated.

In addition, the advisers arranged for 596 students to meet with representatives of two- and four-year and technical institutions, helped 150 students file for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and helped facilitate College Night in Virginia.

“As our community continues to stress the importance of being globally competitive and economically viable, it is clear that access to post-secondary education is a critical component to the future success of the region”, said DeWitt House, program officer with Harvest.

Harvest has provided funds for the advising corps at least twice in the past, according to the annual report. In 2006, it provided $252,900 over one year to support the training and placement of three guides in area schools, and in 2011 it provided $255,281 over two years to place advisers in each area high school.

“The Virginia College Advising Corps is grateful to continue our partnership with the Harvest Foundation, and Martinsville City/Henry County schools. These recent college graduates can assist students with college searches, applications and financial aid, providing mentoring and encouragement along the way,” said Joy Pugh, director of the College Advising Corps program.

Karen Cecil, director of guidance at Magna Vista High School, also praised the program.

“Being a recent college graduate and having attended numerous training sessions in preparation for placement, the college adviser is equipped to bring current information to students and parents about the college admission and financial aid process,” she said.

“The college guides have been very instrumental in increasing the number of students applying and being accepted to college. The guides work one on one with students in finding the right fit,” said Angie Weinerth, Martinsville High School principal.

Harvest President Allyson Rothrock said the program tackles the issue of college access for students.

“The Harvest Foundation is excited about the opportunity to partner with the local school divisions and the University of Virginia’s College Advising Corps to address the widening gap in college access for low income, first generation and under-represented student populations,” she said.


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