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New Summer Program at Southwestern Aims to Help Children of Soldiers Learn About the College Application Process

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    The Forward March program included a college/career fair July 11. Here, Gail Roberson, associate director of admission, speaks to participants in the program.

Twenty-seven students and their parents will be on campus July 10-12

When a military parent is deployed overseas, the parent who remains at home has to take on many additional responsibilities.  

If the family has children who want to apply to college, that means the parent at home may have the added burden of helping the children navigate the complicated college application process alone.  

A new program being held at Southwestern University this summer seeks to make this process easier for both students and parents. Nineteen students and their parents have signed up for the inaugural program, called Forward March…Into The Future, which will be held July 10-12.

The program will include sessions dealing with basic college readiness; the paperwork, forms and deadlines to meet; and the different resources to pay for college. It also will include a college/career fair. Featured speakers will include representatives from the Military Child Education Coalition, the Texas National Guard and Southwestern University.  

The new program was the dream of Brigadier General Orlando Salinas, who is responsible for recruiting, training, supporting and retaining Army National Guard soldiers in Texas. Eva Melton, a state youth coordinator based at Camp Mabry who led in the coordinating the program, said Gen. Salinas  wanted to educate both students and parents so that students could do their part in the process then have the parent go from there.

“Having a college workshop where the youth are sitting beside their parent is a new concept, but hopefully one that will tie those two together as they talk about the college process,” Melton said.  

Gen. Salinas will speak at the opening ceremony, which will be held after participants have registered July 10.