The years before college can be a daunting time for high school underclassmen, but more than 400 area sophomores are on the right track after attending a conference Thursday aimed at helping them envision a course of action for their post-graduation futures.
At the fourth annual College For Every Student Sophomore Summit, held at SUNY Cobleskill on Thursday, local tenth-graders attended a college fair and various panel discussions to help introduce them to the possibility of college earlier in high school, said Andrea McDonald, college ambassador for College For Every Student. Cooperstown, Schenevus, Laurens, Worcester, Milford, Mount Markham, Cherry Valley-Springfield, Richfield Springs and Edmeston Central Schools sent their sophomore classes to the event which, McDonald said, is invaluable for high school students.
College For Every Student is a 23-year-old nonprofit organization committed to helping low-income youth succeed in college, McDonald said. Many of the students CFES works with are the first in their family to pursue higher education and, because of this, aren’t always familiar with the concept of college.
“They don’t see it in the same way that other students do — as a viable option,” McDonald said.
McDonald said organizers began planning for the event more than six months ago. More than 27 colleges were represented, including SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Delhi and Hartwick College. McDonald said more than 80 college and industry representatives led discussions about post-secondary education and specific career options. Volunteer representatives were present from the following industries: engineering, fine arts, business, public service, agriculture, education, health services, military and liberal arts.
McDonald said the program was meticulously planned and well organized, to which students, or “scholars,” as CFES prefers to call them, responded well.
“‘Scholar’ is an empowering title,” McDonald said, “and makes the students stand a little taller,”