Outreach program offers assistance

Published 10:39 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Daryl Savage is serving as the new counselor for at-risk youth in Paul D. Camp Community College’s service area. Services include referrals to community agencies, assistance with completing college applications and more.

An outreach program is providing free assistance to at-risk youth in Paul D. Camp Community College’s service area.

The Hampton Roads Outreach Program (HROP), sponsored by the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education in conjunction with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), is funded by the U.S. Department of Education College Access Challenge Grant Program.

Daryl Savage of Chesapeake, who is a physical education instructor and career coach for Paul D. Camp Community College, also is serving as counselor at the college for the HROP.

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The outreach program is available to disadvantaged and at-risk youths who are thinking about or have already dropped out of school, who are facing socioeconomic challenges and who can benefit from the guidance and support of a mentor.

“The closing of the paper mill affected and hurt a lot of the population here,” Savage said. “The consortium can help provide avenues to help rebuild this area through education.”

The services provided by the program include referrals to community agencies, resume assistance, assistance with completing applications to colleges, identifying scholarship sources, one-on-one counseling and personalized campus tours.

“I’ve also discovered through talking with the youth that most of them feel limited or confined to this area,” Savage said. “Through this position, I can provide information and show them the many opportunities that are available, proving to them that settling is not the only option.”

The program can be especially valuable to students who are the first in their families to gain a higher education.

“Many are first-generation students who are financially challenged. Sometimes they don’t have role models,” said PDCCC President Dr. Paul W. Conco. “They need advice and goal-setting skills. Daryl will help them maneuver pitfalls and potholes in the road. The ending goal is to have a successful college graduate.”

Savage’s positions as a counselor with the consortium and as a career coach for PDCCC complement one another.

“The focus of both positions is similar-helping our youth reach future aspirations, ranging from college or trade schooling to job and career goals,” he said.

As a counselor, Savage attends and or is involved with as many youth-related events as possible to heighten awareness of the program’s services.

“I am currently in the process of creating my own projects/events for the youth in the area,” he said.

Savage notes that making a difference now can create a better future for generations to come.

“I truly believe that in order to change the world, you have to start with the people,” he said. “If people are better educated, that leads to better communities.”

“Eventually everyone could be affected because of one small step taken within our youth.”

For more information, email Savage at dsavage@pdc.edu.