Nearly 50 colleges, universities, trade schools, and military organizations were represented at College and Career Night Out on September 28.

Held at Fremont High School, the annual event drew hundreds of students and families from across Newaygo County to learn more about post-secondary education, career opportunities, and financial aid. WE CAN! Newaygo County—the local career and college access network—and Fremont Area Community Foundation organized and sponsored the event.

Melissa Miller, WE CAN! coordinator, said that the event was designed to streamline the college and career decision process for local students.

“With so many factors that can influence a student’s decision to pursue higher education or training, this event continues to serve families in this process by bringing numerous resources and current information under one roof,” said Miller. “Families are able to make connections, get their questions answered, and hopefully realize there are many resources to support them as they navigate this selection process.”

Attendees enjoyed free pizza, spoke to college and career representatives, learned more about scholarships, and were able to attend informational sessions on financial aid and college affordability, hot jobs in West Michigan, and how to choose a college.

The college and career fair included a wide variety of public and private colleges, trade schools, and military branches. Representatives came from as far as Alabama and as close as schools with classes right in Newaygo County. Students and parents could ask questions, compare programs, and explore financial aid opportunities.

Other partners with a presence at the event included Early College Newaygo County, Gerber Foundation, Michigan Works! West Central, Newaygo County Area Promise Zone, Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, Telamon, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. College advisors and high school counselors were also available to check in with students and answer questions.

“I loved how organized and educational it was,” said Ali Dronchi, a senior at Fremont High School. “All the staff and college representatives were so helpful and approachable. It truly was a key-turning experience for my college readiness. It was a really great way to talk to all the colleges I’m interested in without traveling, and it was free!”

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