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College info, scholarships available at event

An event later this month will help college-bound students learn about strategies they can use to graduate from college debt-free, offer opportunities to meet with college representatives and perhaps even win a scholarship.

College Success Day will be presented by ScholarshipSharing in conjunction with Suffolk Public Library from noon to 4 p.m. on May 20. The event will be held at North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road.

Lorraine SantaLucia, the present of ScholarshipSharing, will share the strategies she used to graduate debt-free with her bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees from 1 to 3 p.m. Giancarla Rojas, vice president of ScholarshipSharing, will share strategies she used to obtain her associate and bachelor’s degrees debt-free from 3 to 4 p.m.

“We’re a resource for families that is always free,” SantaLucia said. “We provide resources so that families are more educated about what their options are. I’ve graduated debt-free three times, so I’m very good at what I do.”

The May 20 event will also include representatives from several colleges to meet with students, as well as several nonprofits that offer scholarships. Students are encouraged to come with resumes and transcripts in hand.

The event will be a miniature version of the organization’s big scholarship fair, set this year for noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 21-22 at Norfolk State University. Thousands of students generally attend that event to meet with more than 50 colleges and 50 nonprofits, SantaLucia said.

“This is primarily for students in their junior and senior year so they can be more prepared for what resources are out there for funding their college education,” SantaLucia said. “We run this program, because we want to help families.”

The organization’s website lists dozens of scholarships available to local students.

SantaLucia said the library approached her about putting on the program, and the library is generously hosting.

“Although we’re organizing it, we could not do it without them,” she said.

The event is free to attend. Tickets for the scholarship drawing are $5, and the money from the tickets will go into the pool of money used to provide the scholarships. “Based on how many tickets we’re able to sell, we’re hoping to give at least one or two scholarships,” SantaLucia said.

There is a maximum capacity of about 200 students, and the event is filling up, SantaLucia said. Those hoping to attend are urged to register as soon as possible. Register or get more information at scholarshipsharing.ticketspice.com/collegesuccessday.