Choosing the right college isn’t an easy decision to make, and the members of Impact know that.
In an effort to promote post-secondary education, Impact, a Tinley Park-based group that is focused on preparing high school students in the Chicagoland for college, is to host its third annual College Readiness Summit on Saturday, July 29, at the Tinley Park Convention Center’s West Pavilion. The event – which is to take place from noon to 3 p.m. – is free, as Impact has partnered with local businesses and various colleges and universities. Together, they aim to spread the word about financial aid, admissions and more.
“There’s a couple ways students can get connected with college representatives,” said Lattia Moore, director of university relations for Impact. “Normally, it’s through the school where students get a pass out of class, or they attend a college fair. There’s limited options, and there’s a need to extend additional opportunities to students to prepare themselves and ask questions.”
The College Readiness Summit serves a purpose that differs from how college fairs are designed to serve young adults.
“It’s not a fair, it’s actually telling them, ‘This is what you need to know,’” Moore said. “A lot can be done in high school with a guidance counselor, but they are inundated and cannot provide the assistance students’ need. [College Readiness Summit]This is not meant to replace the counselor. This is meant to work side-by-side.”
This year, participants will have a chance to meet with representatives from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, DePaul University and Robert Morris University, just to name a few.
Moore said she often hears of students who can attest to Impact’s significance and its mission.
“We found not everyone went to a good school and received the help they need,” she noted. “A lot of students have difficulty with getting through the process. If you didn’t have a parent who went through it, it can be [overwhelming].”
A financial representative from DePaul and members of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission will also be on hand to provide some guidance and answer any questions.
Moore explained further that beyond paying for college, the track to graduation can be impeded when students are faced with social, emotional and academic challenges. Those factors, ultimately, can prevent them from earning their degrees.
What’s more is that some high school students have access to professionals who can help create a plan and find the right college, but that assistance comes with a cost.
“With this program, there’s no fee to get the information,” Moore said.
Moore and her team make it a point to visit schools, so they can get a better idea – an “insiders’ view” she said – of the issues that teens do come across. The summit and the visits, she added, simply just go “hand in hand.”
For more information about Impact, visit www.impactccrn.com or call (844) 498-4264.
Third annual College Readiness Summit
When: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29
Where: Tinley Park Convention Center, 18451 Convention Center Dr.
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