Blueprints Mentor and UAB Student, Ariel Smith, giving a presentation on the Blueprints College Access Initiative at the Global and Community Leadership Service-Learning Poster Presentations.
A guest post from Intern Anna Patterson
The APP team visited YWCA-Woodlawn last week to discuss college preparation and financial aid awareness with the students of the YWCA’s Creating Responsible Educated Working Teens (CREW) program.
To start the afternoon, APP staff split up into teams with the CREW students to play “The M&M Game,” a Blueprints favorite that teaches students about the many types of financial aid that make going to college possible. The students were eager to learn valuable tips and share their knowledge about financial aid with us. As one student commented after the M&M game, “There’s lots of money out there, you just have to know where to find it.”
Amerircorps*VISTA Kevi Martin and BSC Hess Fellow Samantha Bisese then shared a presentation and led a conversation with students about preparing for college. One 9th grade student was excited to learn that her extracurricular activities will help strengthen her college applications. Another student who plans to start college next month was surprised to learn that he can still apply for scholarships.
Blueprints works to create a college going culture by equipping students with resources and skills they need to navigate the college application process. As I watched students eagerly pick up sample college applications after the presentation, I saw this motivation in action. Our visit planted the seed of confidence and possibility and the students were responding enthusiastically.
Anna is a rising sophomore at Elon University in North Carolina. She is majoring in Sociology and Journalism.
Blueprints has partnered with College Goal Sunday to provide free assistance to students and families who are applying for financial aid for college. In order to qualify for federal and state grants and loans, students will need to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Financial Aid professionals from colleges, Blueprints staff, and volunteers will be available at workshops around the state to help college-bound students and their families complete this important step in the financial aid process. This week, Blueprints will be sponsoring free FAFSA workshops in Montevallo and Phil Campbell. An article from the Shelby County Reporter about upcoming FAFSA events can be found HERE.
Date: February 28
Location: Francis Marion High School
Time: 5:30 pm
Site Coordinator: Ashley Clemons (800-447-9472)
University of Montevallo
Date: Monday, February 25
Location: University of Montevallo, Carmichael Library, bottom floor
Time: 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm
Site Coordinator: Maria Parker (205-665-6050)
Northwest Shoals Community College
Dates: February 28
Location: Northwest Shoals Community College- Phil Campbell Library
Site Coordinator: Rachel Trapp (email@example.com)
For more information, email Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about FAFSA event locations please visit the College Goal Alabama website.
As you begin completing your FAFSA for the next school year you will have to answer some important questions. The U.S. Department of Education provides some helpful resources through their Federal Student Aid website: http://studentaid.ed.gov/.
Members of the Alpha Zeta Iota Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa at Northwest-Shoals Community College participated in a college access mentoring program for high school students at Phil Campbell High School in Alabama. Here is a video they created about their experience with the Blueprints program: