In May 28 IssueBy Derek AaronNews-Register Editor
The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority's College Info Road Show made a stop at Russell County Middle School last week to promote higher learning to the graduating 8th graders, according to John Loy, the director of the youth services center serving Russell County High and Middle Schools.
"You can go online with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority to plan college, search for financial aid, scholarships, grants, check on your KEES money that you've earned throughout high school," Loy said. "What we're doing today is we're enrolling all of the 8th graders onto the website portal where they can create an account and they're going to be able to look up all that information that is personal to them."
He said when these same students are in high school they will return to their account to look back on what they have done and even track their KEES progress throughout the rest of their high school careers.
Visiting middle schools, high schools, adult education centers, public libraries and other sites KHEAA's mobile classroom provides a host of critical services directly to students and families in their communities.
Equipped with satellite Internet access, laptop computers, an instructor's podium and screen and an outdoor projection unit, the road show uses state-of-the art technology to connect students with the information they need to research, pursue and succeed in their educational future beyond high school.
Mark Hoover, who drives the college info road show bus, said he travels to all 120 counties in Kentucky in hopes of helping students reach their educational goals.
"Primarily what we talk about is the webpage, kheaa.com," he said. "We talk about the importance of good grades; how to pay for college and we give them the resources and tools they need to pay for college."
Hoover, who is from Frankfort, said the road show itself was about 13 years old and that he has driven the bus for 11 of those years.
"We like to catch the kids young in 8th grade," Hoover said. "They get a fresh start as freshmen when they go across the street here."
He said there are 13 outreach representatives throughout the state that serve schools like Russell County.
"They offer all kinds of different presentations," he said. "We do financial literacy seminars, paying for college 101 and help people fill out their applications for free student aid, among others."
He said driving the colorful road show bus around was gratifying as he sees many students take their first steps toward higher education.
"Sometimes kids just need to be given the information before they decide which direction to go," Hoover said.