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College fair presents opportunities

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Beverly Bobbitt, left, of the Rocky Mount chapter of the Winston-Salem State University National Alumni Association, talks to Nash Central junior Alexia Abrahams, 17, about the university's nursing program on Tuesday during the CIS College Fair at the Dunn Center.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Some local students had a chance to explore their future options Tuesday at the annual Communities in Schools College Fair held in the Dunn Center on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College.

Roughly 120 high school students from Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, Weldon Public Schools and Rocky Mount Preparatory School attended the fair as well as about 100 eighth-grade students involved with Communities in Schools of the Rocky Mount Region. More than 20 colleges in North Carolina were represented at the college fair.

Tanesha Cameron-Cole, executive director of Communities in Schools of the Rocky Mount Region, said the college fair is offered each year through a joint partnership with Nash Community College, Edgecombe Community College and N.C. Wesleyan College. These three institutions rotate the responsibility of hosting the fair each year.

“The purpose of the college fair is to expose high-school students and middle-school students to information about these colleges so that they can prepare for college in advance. They can get information and resources that can help them learn about their options and college financing and help them plan the courses they need to take now to get into the college they want. It is all about providing them with early access to the information they need to go to college,” Cameron-Cole said.

Alexia Abrahams, a junior at Nash Central High School, is planning to pursue a degree in nursing or some other area of health-care services. She said the college fair helped her narrow down her choices.

“There were more colleges here than I thought there would be,” Abrahams said. “The wide range of choices was very helpful. Right now, I am looking at possibly going to Winston-Salem State University.”

Jykevius Western, a junior at Nash Central High School, said the fair helped him find the program he is looking for.

“I want to study zoology. Some of the colleges have veterinary programs, but that is not what I am looking for. But I found out today that the University of Mount Olive has a zoology program and they even have their own farm, so I am looking at attending that college,” Western said.

Some students found future options that don’t include college immediately. Emitt Smith, a senior at Tar River Academy, said he talked to a recruiter for the Virginia Department of Corrections at the college fair and is exploring that as a future career possibility. Working there would also allow him the option of taking classes in the future paid for by the state of Virginia.

The college fair is part of the effort by Communities in Schools to help encourage students to graduate and prepare for future options, Cameron-Cole said. During the 2017-18 school year, students involved with Communities in Schools for the Rocky Mount Region had a 100 percent graduate rate, she said. 

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