reach high Archives | UnidosNow

Future Leaders Academy (FLA): Ongoing Parent Engagement

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UnidosNow recently convened a group of parents of our summer FLA scholars who are, now, in their senior year. The goal of the meeting was to provide follow-up and to support their efforts to help their children complete college applications. We were thrilled to learn how engaged the parents are in the process! We are here to offer them additional tools, encouragement, and support, as they work with their children to meet deadlines and benchmarks that will ensure college entrance.

New UnidosNow High School Clubs

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High School Club at the Sarasota Military Academy.

After last year’s successful pilot program offering of on-site college prep information and one- on- one support to low income, first generation students at Palmetto High School and Sarasota High School, UnidosNow is thrilled that other high schools have invited our program in as official clubs this year!

The new UnidosNow Clubs target freshmen and sophomores and meet weekly or biweekly, depending on the school, to engage students interested in pursuing a post-secondary education with tools and information to help them get on their desired pathway. Clubs have been launched at the following schools and meeting details are available here:

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High School Club at Manatee High School.

FAFSA Preparation Activities Underway

In 2015, more than $2.7 billion in financial aid for college went unclaimed.  Data show that 85% of students who complete the FASFA receive student aid. This is why UnidosNow and community partners in Sarasota and Manatee counties have been busy with launching this year’s FAFSA support for high school students and their families.

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UnidosNow Team at Holy Cross.

The UnidosNow education program team held outreach and information events at Holy Cross and Sacred Heart churches in Manatee County to promote the upcoming workshops in November, and into the New Year, where free, one-on-one assistance will be provided to families to complete the FAFSA form.

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Juan Arcila at a FAFSA workshop at Palmetto High School.

Last month, our collaborators from USF Sarasota-Manatee, Katie Fleck and Juan Arcila, gave a financial aid presentation, including FAFSA tips, at Palmetto High, where we will hold a FAFSA workshop on November 8th from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.

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Sarasota High School FAFSA Workshop.

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FAFSA Volunteer Training Workshop at United Way Suncoast.

The team also held a workshop at Sarasota High last month, where more than 100 attendees were able to complete their FAFSA forms. Our Sarasota partners, including the United Way Suncoast and The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, as well as financial aid officers from USF Sarasota-Manatee, State College of Florida, and the Ringling College of Art and Design were on site, assisting families with the process. Additional FAFSA sessions at other schools in Sarasota County will be offered this month.

Students and parents attending the FAFSA workshops will need to take the following information with them to be able to complete the form:

  • Social Security Number
  • Driver’s License number (if applicable)
  • Parent & Student 2015 Federal Income Tax Return
  • Alien Registration or Permanent Resident Card (if applicable)
  • 2015 untaxed income records

We wouldn’t be able to offer this valuable service for students who want to pursue post-secondary education without the dedicated volunteers who assist families through the FAFSA process. We held two trainings in October to prepare this special group of committed individuals for their task and we are very grateful for their critical contribution to this effort. Our thanks also go to USF Sarasota-Manatee and United Way Suncoast for hosting the trainings.

For more information and resources on FAFSA, click here.

All these workshops and training would not be possible without the remarkable collaborative work with our partners:

Thank you!

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