GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 13, 2013

GHS students to get help with college bids

A Salem-based program aimed at guiding students to and through the college process, will spread its wings to Gloucester High School students this year, kicking off with a Tuesday after-school meeting.

Salem CyberSpace will enroll 20 GHS juniors in the college Success Program, with free participation for students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch at school. CyberSpace staffers plan to meet with Gloucester High School students at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school’s computer lab.

“We are very excited to be in Gloucester,” said Salem CyberSpace Director Linda Saris. “Mayor Kirk and Superintendent of Schools Dr. (Richard) Safier have been extremely supportive and we look forward to working with the guidance staff, school administrators, and families in both communities as we gear up our programs.”

Those students, selected on a first-come, first-served basis, will join students from Peabody and Salem to receive assistance from trained councilors in preparing to apply for college, studying for exams, and applying for financial aid.

The program continues to support their enrolled students through college, with some having gone on to universities such as University of Pennsylvania, Boston University, Northeastern and Salem State University. Of the 85 students that have participated in the program since its beginning in 2009, 87 percent are still in college or have graduated. All of the students finished high school and went on to college.

Safer embraced the opportunity for Gloucester students to join the program.

“We welcome the staff at Salem CyberSpace to Gloucester High School who will work with our guidance counselors to provide intensive group and one-on-one college and career advisory services to students and their parents,” Safier said. “This free program will be particularly invaluable to students who will be the first in their family to go to college.”

The program’s Gloucester expansion was initially funded by a Department of Higher Education grant, then Gloucester’s Applied Materials/Varian Semiconductors matched that grant to help fund the program here.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.

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