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CSRA 'virtual' college night exceeds expectations in online attendance

CSRA "virtual" college night

South Aiken High School and Aiken Scholars Program student Jay Saxon discusses the merits of attending Andrew College with Admissions Officer Alexis Young as his mother, Mindy Noe, listens in during this year’s virtual CSRA College Night.

Another important milestone was recently reached with the success of this year’s CSRA “virtual” college night. This annual event normally fills the James Brown Arena, in Augusta, Georgia, but this year, SRNS used a website app to provide area students with access to more than 100 college recruiters.

“Since 1993, over 100,000 high school students and parents from the greater Aiken-Augusta area have attended CSRA College Night,” said Gladys Moore, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) Education Outreach and CSRA College Night Chairperson. “The pandemic has caused us to be innovative in our use of available resources to reach the same college reps and students as in the past. Moving from a huge face-to-face event to a totally online event was quite a challenge; however, it all worked out wonderfully.”

Over the years, more than $300,000 in scholarships have been offered to past student attendees of CSRA College Night. “The generosity of our scholarship sponsors and much appreciated help from volunteers are major reasons why this event is so popular,” said Moore

This year’s event featured recruiters from nearly 80 colleges and universities with more than 600 students in attendance. Throughout the evening, scholarships – each worth $1,000 – were awarded to 15 students.

“The CSRA community provides a tremendous amount of support, both financially and with in-kind donations of service,” said Francine Burroughs who manages SRNS Workforce Services Operations and Education Outreach Program. “The community partnerships that have been forged through participation in this event allow our College Night committee to provide more resources for the students and parents each year.”

Local scholarship winners include Andrew Towner of North Augusta High School, Curtis Thompson of Williston-Elko High School, Erica Brown of Aiken High School, and Kristofer Frazier of Strom Thurmond High School.

“It’s rewarding to see so many students having the opportunity to meet with college representatives of their choice, knowing this night could have a significant impact on their post high school education,” said Moore.

Moore acknowledged the contributions made by the members of the CSRA College Night Committee who put in many hours of work each year. “They understand the impact this event has financially for a significant percentage of our attending students. College Night can help reduce the number of planned college visits for students, potentially saving them thousands in travel costs,” she said.

CSRA College Night is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRP Federal Credit Union and iHeart Media.

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