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November 28, 2012

Schenevus guidance counselor wins award*

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — Kristen Shearer, director of guidance at Schenevus Central School, is one of two nationwide recipients this year of the Mario Peña Award, given by the College for Every Student organization.

The award is given each year by the organization to exceptional educators who help it develop and expand school-college collaborations that increase college access and success for underserved youth.

Under Shearer’s leadership, the College for Every Student team at Schenevus has developed a program that engages older students as mentors and role models for their younger peers.

“Thanks to the CFES program, we’ve been able to offer wonderful opportunities for our students” Shearer said in a media release from the organization. “My juniors have been on 12 college campuses already, and our senior leadership summit has been so successful that we’ve turned it into a sophomore summit where 350 grade-10 students from nine other CFES schools in the Leatherstocking region, get to jump start their post-high school planning.”

She shared the award with Don Mays, associate director of undergraduate admission and coordinator of multicultural recruitment at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. He also has been organization’s liaison at the university since 2009, hosting hundreds of students on campus and providing financial aid and admissions information that has allowed them to consider college as an attainable goal.

The two received the award at a luncheon in Albany on Nov. 3. About 420 educators involved with the program attended.

“These two educators go the extra mile every day to help our CFES Scholars become college ready and ultimately college successful,” said Rick Dalton, the nonprofit’s president and chief executive.

The Mario Peña Award is given each year to exceptional educators who help the organization develop and expand school-college collaborations that increase college access and success for underserved youth.

College for Every Student is a nonprofit organization based in Essex that helps underserved students prepare for, gain access to and succeed in college. It works with 200 schools in 24 states to help its 20,000 students move toward college success. According to the organization, 96 percent of the high school seniors in its program have gone on to college during the past six years. Its website is at

*Editor's note: This headline was changed at 3:15 p.m. Nov. 28 to correct a misspelled word.