"I had no idea what I wanted to major in or anything whatsoever, but I've come here and things come out clearer," Marko Onyskiv said.
Onyskiv is a freshman at the University of Vermont now, but almost delayed going to college because it seemed so overwhelming.
Figuring out the barriers to college for all students was the focus of UVM's Increasing College Enrollment Event Tuesday. Education advocates say for some high school students, getting together their applications, transcripts and other necessary materials is the last thing on their minds when they are just trying to survive.
"Just imagine as a child, not eating for a day or two, and trying to sit there and pay attention to what the teacher is saying; it's really complicated. Let alone be at home and have no one to help you with homework, to just sit down and although you had well intentioned people, like my mama wanted to help, but she had her limits with her lack of education," said Paul Hernandez of the United Way.
Hernandez was the keynote speaker. He grew up as an "at-risk" student, but overcame the obstacles of growing up poor to get a Ph.D. and help other at-risk youth. This week's event brings together local educators to try to understand why Vermont high school students are performing well, but then choosing not to attend college. One theory is lack of understanding or attitudes toward financial aid options.
"My parents say I can't afford this, they worked themselves through school, if they went, I can do the same thing-- which is not true today-- or I don't believe in loans," said Linda Shiller of VSAC.
Vermont has the highest graduation rate in the nation at 88 percent, but only 53 percent attend college and only 26 percent of that 53 percent stay in Vermont to do so.
"There's some disconnect there. Is it... are young people getting the information they need in order to prepare themselves for college?" said Fayneese Miller, the dean of education and social services at UVM.
Some UVM students we spoke to agree that without the proper guidance, going to college would have been tough.
"My guidance counselor helped me a lot, helped me through the process. I had a lot of help while applying," said Brandon Lim, a student at UVM.
"My guidance counselor encouraged going," Onyskiv said.
"Yeah, my mom helped me a lot, so that also made it a lot easier for me," said Mia Cosentino, a junior at UVM.
The Increasing College Enrollment event continues through this week.
Organizers of the event tell us that after gathering their findings, they plan to present the information and a suggested plan to state government to encourage education legislation.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
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Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>