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The Hanover Aiding Worcester Students with ‘Quest for Success’ Expo

Saturday, October 13, 2012

 

The Hanover Insurance Group will bring local students, families and educators together for its "Quest for Success" College Expo in Worcester today.

The Saturday October 13 event is a joint effort with Worcester Public Schools, the Colleges of Worcester Consortium, and National Hispanic College Fairs, Inc.  and will be held at the Hanover's 440 Lincoln Street headquarters from 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. and will offer the public a new take on the college search and admissions process with representatives from nearly 40 colleges in attendance.

“The Quest for Success College Expo is an innovative approach to the college fair experience, “said Dr. Melinda Boone, superintendent of Worcester Public Schools.

“When it comes to helping students achieve their goals for higher education, students, families and teachers all are key players in the process, but each have their own concerns. Together, with the support and encouragement of The Hanover, we’ve designed the Quest for Success events to deliver the most relevant and important information to each group in an interesting and accessible way.”

Assistant Vice President for Community Relations Jennifer Luisa said the Hanover has been a strong supporter of the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program in the city's public schools and that the foray into a new type of college fair was a natural progression.

"We wanted to provide Worcester Public schools teachers with the opporutnities to understand what colelges were looking for these days and intereact with the colleges as well," Luisa said.

The expo is the third in the "Quest for Success" series and is focused on bringing the whole family in on the process. Earlier expos for educators and students attracted over 1,200 college-bound teens.

"We've had such outstanding feedback from the colleges," said Luisa. "They got to spend really valuable face time with these students."

Saturday's family-focused expo delves more deeply into the issues of the college process than traditional college fairs by hosting numerous breakout sessions on topics that often pose challenges for first-generation college students.

Sessions will include presentations from the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority on “Navigating the Financial Aid Process” and “Traveling through the College Application Process.” These presentations will be geared to family members’ main concerns, and the Hanover's “A Journey into the Corporate Environment” session will be adjusted to speak to the family and student audience.

“Chartering a College Budget” will provide practical tips for successfully navigating college expenses, including exploring financing options, and tracking and managing student loans.

Another featured presentation, ”Offering Parents a Path to Success/Destino Universidad,” presented by the Latino Educational Institute at Worcester State University is a panel discussion by college achievers, who will share their personal life experiences and how they overcame barriers to achieve their goals in higher education.

Luisa said interpreters will be on hand to assist families who may not be native English speakers.

Community partners Girls Inc., The YMCA of Central Massachusetts, and the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester will also be in attendance to share information about their respective programs that offer after-school tutoring to reinforce academics, and help develop community service and leadership skills.

While the amount of information available to students and parents at Saturday's expo may be daunting, there will be some fun on tap, too, including raffles for dinner packs, movie nights, tickets to The Hanover Theatre, family passes to the EcoTarium and a 42-inch television, as well as a $1,000 grant to the school with the most participation among family members.

"We really want to make it a special day for families," Luisa said. 

 

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