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FCHS College Fair--Helping Students Prepare for the Future

By Brooklyn Toney--Eagle Staff Writer

On September 11, FCHS held its annual College Fair. Over 50 colleges, trade schools, and military schools visited. This has been the first in-person fair since the pandemic ended.

Juniors Maddy Crestel and Hannah Bird pose for a picture showing the information they got from the fair. (Photo by Brooklyn Toney)

Lindsey Shelton, guidance counselor and college fair coordinator, stated, “I really enjoy working on this event because we get to involve so many of our students and get to see them interact with college representatives.”

It’s an opportunity for students to get information on colleges that they are interested in, and for those who may not go the college route to learn about other opportunities beyond high school. In addition to the colleges and universities, representatives of the United States military were in attendance also.

“We have the ability to transform you from somebody in high school that may not be sure of themselves into somebody that is extremely confident, intelligent, honorable, and able to go on and succeed in life with a high level of success,” explained the Virginia Military Institute representative.

Military school is more accessible than many might think. 83% percent of VMI cadets receive scholarships or financial aid. As for the military, one percent of the American population chooses to join the military.

”It’s a choice that students want to make serving the country and I believe it gives them a kind of level of honor and integrity to your life that a lot of people don’t necessarily choose to give," explained one recruiter.

The fair is centered towards juniors and seniors due to the school having a large population of students. “Colleges typically want to make connections with students around this time, but if we could work out the logistics, I think it could be great to expand it to younger groups, too,” Shelton added.

Before going to the fair, students were asked to sign up through a program called StriveScan. The app allows schools to scan students’ registration barcodes and access information about the students' expressed future interests directly from their phones.

“This is a great way to expose a large number of students to multiple schools and opportunities at once," Shelton explained.

Old Dominion University's Admissions Counselor giving information to future interested students. (Photo by Brooklyn Toney)

The fair had a variety of local schools and some that were even out-of-state. Two schools in attendance were Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Both schools have recently opened brand new buildings catering to their medical students. ”We have a brand new humanities science building that just opened in May and that’s amazing. If you are anyone interested in anything related to science, they have labs specific for you,” explained the Virginia Commonwealth University representative.

Heather Fraser, Old Dominion University’s representative, added, “We’re doing a merger with Eastern Virginia Medical School. We’re working with their campus, and we’re going to be fully integrated together.”

While college is mainly about academics, student life is an important aspect also. Shenandoah University touted that they were home to the nation’s first E-Sports program.

Students scramble while looking towards their future. (Photo by Sarah Rafael-Javier)

Cera Graves, representative of Shenandoah University, mentioned, “Our business majors actually run the Super Bowl every year.”

For more information regarding colleges, universities, trade schools, and the military, visit any of the guidance counselors located in Student Services.

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