MILFORD, Del. – As college fairs begin to return in person, the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware and Navient held their annual College Planning conference. This year they’re making a bigger effort to help students learn how to pay for college. “If you have an early opportunity, you have to take it and get all these people that know what they’re doing and follow their footsteps,” says Xavier Limehouse, a High School sophomore and Youth of the Year at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club.
If you’re in high school, your teachers may soon start asking you what you want to do once you graduate. For some, that might be hard to answer but Saturday’s college fair is helping students find the solution. “It was good to find out new information and it’ll help me next year cause next year is my senior year so it’ll help me prepare for when I go to college,” says Tyasia Bell, a high school junior and Youth of the Year Runner-up for Boys and Girls Club of Delaware.
The Boys and Girls Club of Delaware and Navient are giving students throughout the community resources and one on one attention to help them form their path after high school. Which organizers say is needed now more than ever. “We have seen that a lot in all of our clubs, just all kids are struggling right now because of COVID,” says Millie Charnick, Vice President of Operations for Boys and Girls Club of Delaware Southern Region. Chris Bascher, Chief Operating Officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware adds, “Some of the kids don’t think that they have a chance to go to college and some aren’t even thinking about it.”
Bascher tells 47 ABC, that they want students to know that there is help for those wishing to go to college, and they’re not alone.” So being together, feeding off of each other, being encouraged and inspired, and seeing what other kids can do,” adds Bascher.
Students got to take a look at colleges from across the region, and participate in seminars on learning how to pay for college and alternative options like joining the military. No matter what it is, students say the college fair showed them just how obtainable their dreams can be. “It really pushes you to become the best version of yourself and forces you to become great,” says Lamea Johnson, high school student and Youth of the Year for the Dover Boys and Girl Club. “I can get all these opportunities early and figure out what I want to do in life like a job, and what I have to do to get into college,” adds Limehouse.
Those we spoke with have some advice for students wondering where to start their planning for their future. “Find out new things about yourself through other people, through other experiences, and create your own experiences and life changes,” Naomi Rivers, a high school senior and Youth of the Year for the Milford Boys and Girls Club. Johnson adds, “Just be you, be confident, nothing that you do is too big.” “You might have to fight a little and get out there and work a little but I want them to walk away and say hey I can do this, I can go to college if I want to,” says Charnick.
Students and organizers are also encouraging others to get involved with your local boys and girls club to learn about more opportunities outside of school.
We’re told they can help with tutors, building college lists, and just getting more one-on-one attention.