Like many of her peers from Purnell Swett High School in Maxton, NC, Euna Victoria Chavis was the first in her family to attend college. “I was like a bumpy piece of wood, in need of sanding. Carolina was my piece of sandpaper–it shaped me into the person I am today.”
Ms. Chavis now works to help other young people realize the dream of going to college. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014 with a degree in psychology, she returned to Purnell Swett as an adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps. The Corps places recent Carolina graduates in schools across the state to help students find the college that will serve them best.
The Carolina College Advising Corps gathered on Monday with school and community leaders for a Celebration of Education in Robeson County. The event highlighted the work of Ms. Chavis and Jessica Oxendine, the adviser serving Fairmont and South Robeson High Schools. Last year, in partnership with the schools, advisers in the county served 645 seniors, held 1,148 one-on-one meetings, and helped 57% of students submit an application to college.
Three current seniors at Purnell Swett spoke about the impact of Ms. Chavis’s work. “Without her guidance, I would have missed out on scholarship opportunities at my dream school,” said Dylan Brooks. Gabrielle James spoke of Ms. Chavis’s tireless work ethic, and fellow student Joshua Brooks said, “Her warm personality and knowledge of the college admission process have been invaluable not only to me, but to all of my fellow students.”
Legislators and community leaders joined in the celebration, including U.S. Representative Richard Hudson, N.C. Senator Jane W. Smith, N.C. Representative Garland E. Pierce, and Robeson County Schools Superintendent Johnny Hunt. Each spoke in support of the program which is helping deserving young people continue their education.
Also in attendance was Amy Locklear Hertel, Director of UNC’s American Indian Center. “Today exemplifies our service not only to education but to our native communities. Through rich relationships and partnerships designed to support our students, UNC is dedicated to assisting native students across the state.”
The event was hosted by Clyde Leviner, Purnell Swett Principal, and Stephen Farmer, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill. Vice Provost Farmer concluded the event by thanking the advisors for the work they do helping deserving young people take the next best step in their lives and by thanking leaders and community members at Purnell Swett and in Robeson County for giving the University the chance to be of service.
The work of the Carolina College Advising Corps in Robeson County is funded by the generous support of AmeriCorps, the John M. Belk Endowment, and the College Advising Corps. To learn more about the Corps, visit our website.
FAFSA season is in full swing, and advisers are trained and ready to help students fill out their application for federal aid! During December, advisers underwent two days of intensive training to ensure they know the in’s and out’s of the form and can help students fill it out correctly.
Read below for a highlight on the advisers in Surry County and the programs they are offering to familiarize students and families with financial aid:
Carolina College Advising Corps holds special events in Surry County to promote financial aid for college
UNC-Chapel Hill advisers offer eight sessions (including one in Spanish)
(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Jan. 15, 2015) – Advisers with the Carolina College Advising Corps at Surry County high schools are banding together to educate students about financial aid for college and the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for state and federal financial aid.
To help promote the importance of FAFSA and financial aid for college, Surry County advisers are hosting events in a variety of venues, from basketball games to media centers to cafeterias. (See list below).
Funded by grants and private gifts and based in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Corps places advisers in schools in counties with heavy populations of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students. The 42 advisers in 59 high schools are close in age and circumstance to the students they serve, and the Corps aims to increase college-going rates at partner high schools. Last year, the Corps helped 4,110 high school seniors submit more than 16,000 applications to college.
Every year the federal government offers $150 billion in financial aid for college students. High school seniors should submit their FAFSA the spring before they enter college to be considered for financial aid, including grants, loans and work study programs. The FAFSA can also be used by individual colleges to determine institutional grants and scholarships. Students may start their FAFSA today and should submit it as soon as possible because financial aid in North Carolina is awarded on a first come, first served basis.
“Contrary to a common myth, there is no income cut-off to qualify for financial aid.” said Avery Keese, adviser for East Surry High School and Surry Central High School. “We encourage all students to complete a FAFSA because no one should miss out on the life-changing opportunity of college due to concerns about affordability.”
Students with questions may attend any of the events below or contact an adviser directly.
“FAFSA Madness” Information Table:
- Surry Central vs. North Surry basketball games—Friday, Jan. 16 at Surry Central High School
- Mount Airy vs. Surry Central basketball games—Wednesday, Jan. 21 at Mount Airy High School
Financial Aid Night in Spanish:
- Thursday, Jan. 22, 6:00 p.m. at Mount Airy High School (media center)
County-wide Financial Aid Night with CFNC and Surry Community College:
- Monday, Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m. at Surry Community College (Grand Hall)
East Surry Financial Aid Nights:
- Tuesday, Jan. 27, 6:00 p.m. at East Surry High School (Room 1)
- Wednesday, Jan. 28, 6:00 p.m. at East Surry High School (Room 1)
Mount Airy Financial Aid Night:
- Monday, Feb. 2, 6:30 p.m. at Mount Airy High School (media center)
North Surry Financial Aid Night:
- Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. at North Surry High School (media center)
Surry Central Financial Aid Night
- Thursday, Feb. 5, 6:00 p.m. at Surry Central High School (cafeteria)
For more information about any of the events, please contact:
- Andrew Treske, Elkin High School and Surry Early College High School: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elkin High School: 336-835-3858
Surry Early College High School: 336-386-3621
- Avery Keese, East Surry High School and Surry Central High School: email@example.com
East Surry High School: 336-368-2251
Surry Central High School: 336-386-8842
- Emily Simpson, North Surry High School and Mount Airy High School: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mount Airy High School: 336-789-5055
North Surry High School: 336-789-5147
For more information on the Carolina College Advising Corps, or to arrange an interview with a local adviser or principal in another area, please contact:
- Ashley Memory, Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions – 919-966-3621 email@example.com
- Yolanda Keith, Carolina College Advising Corps Director – 919-843-7286 firstname.lastname@example.org
November was College Knowledge Month at Cochrane Collegiate Academy. For the month surrounding College Application Week (November 10th-14th), adviser Karen Obando invited her students, faculty and staff to fully engage with college.
College Knowledge Month included classroom presentations, visits to college campuses, College Application Week, and a college night including performances by student groups from universities in the Charlotte area. You can learn more about Karen Obando, college adviser at Cochrane Collegiate Academy here.
The Carolina College Advising Corps helps low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students find their way to colleges that will serve them well. By providing well-trained, enthusiastic advisers who are close in circumstance to the students they serve, the program aims to increase college-going rates at partner high schools across North Carolina.
We recruit advisers who are recent graduates of partner colleges/universities. This allows them to more easily develop relationships with students and serve as both peers as well as role models.
Our advisers work in partnership with teachers, counselors and administrators, as an additional staff member whose focus is singularly on improving the school’s college-going culture and ensuring that students apply to and enroll in colleges where they will succeed.
Advisers focus on helping students to identify and apply to post-secondary programs that will best serve them both academically and socially, thus increasing the likelihood that these students will persist to earn their degrees.