By JEROD CLAPP
No matter where they’re from, Gilt Edge Baptist Church is making sure everyone knows college is attainable.
The Jeffersonville church will host its first College Day on at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church, 1713 Green St., Jeffersonville. Monica Horton, a youth leader at the church, said students and parents will learn the ins and outs of getting into a college and how to pay for it.
“One of our students didn’t know the first thing to do, like with the ACT test,” Horton said. “Even though it’s in the schools, they just need to have some discussion. We just saw a need with our kids based on some of our conversations with them at church, as far as how they’re not prepared it’s time.”
Victor Vinson, pastor at the church, said sometimes students in poorer areas feel like they’ll never get out of their circumstances, but he hopes the information session will empower them to push themselves.
“I know the community we’re in allows young kids to feel like college is out of their reach, whether it’s for financial reasons or family reasons,” Vinson said. “We want to open their eyes that they can qualify for college too, that their environment doesn’t dictate what they’re able to do.”
Horton said representatives from Indiana University Southeast and the University of Louisville will talk to students about how to prepare for college, but parents will also have the opportunity to fire off questions.
“Its not just limited to high school students,” Horton said. “We have some of our older teens who have never gone to college, but now are thinking about attending. It’s also geared toward the parents.”She said whether it’s filling out Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms or seeing how to apply fort scholarships, parents and students can get a better grasp on how to get ready for life after high school.
Vinson said it’s also good to bring the colleges to the community in case families may not have Internet access or the ability to drive to colleges for information.
“We’re looking out to open up doors for individuals who are not able to get into schools in our region to get the information they have on scholarships and admissions,” Vinson said. “It’s great to be able to talk to a rep face to face so you can find out about schools you’re interested in so you can pinpoint what’s the best fit for you.”Along with face to face conversations, materials from other area colleges will also be available for parents and students to take home and review.