Foundation to help rising high school seniors prepare for college

·3 min read

The Education Equalizer Foundation will host College Prep 101 sessions in July for rising high school seniors to help them get on the right track for college and keep them on track to graduate from college.

"A college education is more important now more than ever," said Carjie Scott, Ph.D., founder and president of the Education Equalizer Foundation.. "If you want to be in a position of power, you have to have a college degree to do that."

The sessions will be held at Project YouthBuild located at 635 NW Sixth St. on the remaining Fridays in July.

The sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday, July 15, 22 and 29. Up to 20 students can attend the sessions.

Enrollment is free and lunch will be provided at each session. To register, visit

"We want to prepare the high school seniors to get accepted in college but also to go through and graduate," Scott said. "They may get accepted but some of them may not go because of finances. We want to teach them how to complete their FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid) application so they may get scholarships they need or be considered for a full ride."

The topics students will learn about during the sessions will be:

  • Identifying top colleges with a custom College Scorecard

  • Understanding how Student Life Offices address basic needs

  • Completing a FAFSA Checklist

  • Creating a College and Scholarship Essay Outline

  • Applying to over 200 colleges using two applications

  • Learning how to network digitally using a LinkedIn Profile and other platforms

Scott said according to a study done by the Florida College Access Network, Florida is ranked 48 of 50 states for completing their FAFSA applications, and although 90% of Florida high schoolers indicate interest in attending college, only 69% actually enroll.

"Applying for college is more competitive than it has ever been," Scott said. "We want students to register because not only do we want them to be accepted in college, we want to help them get scholarships and graduate. If students aren't completing their FAFSA applications, they aren't getting grants to complete college."

Scott said she is planning a fundraising gala this fall to celebrate the students who attend this workshop and will be renting buses to take students on college tours to visit the colleges they are interested in attending.

College Prep 101 is sponsored by Children's Trust of Alachua County, Project YouthBuild and Partnership for Reimagining Gainesville.

"When people donate, it shows that they believe in you," Scott said. "Have a dream so when you do the work and when people help, it turns it to a reality."

There will be a variety of speakers topics discussed.

The speakers and their discussions will be:

  • Chanae Jackson: Cultivating a Black Parents Support Network

  • Kerwin Scott: The Journey through Medical School

  • Adrienne Thieke: Learning about STEM fields

  • Jasmine Copeland: Her journey through college as a non-traditional student

  • Anna Epifano: The importance of Mental Health

  • Sharon Austin: How to do well in college

  • Carlean Harris: A Florida A&M University Graduate who will talk about HBCU culture

Edwina Hurst, EEF's program coordinator, said she is excited to see the growth and the preparation for the upcoming high school seniors.

"They (EFF) have a pulse on what the community needs," Hurst said.

She said finances stop most students from attaining a higher education.

"That's a huge stopping point for some students," Hurst said. "They may feel left out and don't have an opportunity. We are willing to get the help they need so they can have an equal opportunity."

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: The Education Equalizer Foundation to host College Prep 101 sessions for rising high school seniors