Pay for school using first-hand knowledge

Published 8:23 pm Saturday, February 3, 2018

Paul D. Camp Community College will host an event this week that will teach parents and students how to cover the costs of higher education.

The college’s High School Career Coach Program will sponsor a free “Scholarship Night” session from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. this Friday at the Hobbs Suffolk Campus, 271 Kenyon Road. Students will learn to graduate debt-free using various scholarships, grants, federal and state funds and other financial resources.

The session will be conducted by Lorraine SantaLucia, a 26-year-old Hampton Roads native and the founder and president of Scholarship Sharing, a nonprofit that helps students in Virginia and Washington, D.C., connect with financial resources for higher education.

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She founded the organization out of personal experience while she was sending in applications to pay for her time at Virginia Commonwealth University. She secured $65,000 in scholarship and grants, then graduated debt-free in 2014 with a mass communications degree and additional education in nonprofit management.

“I wanted to start the organization because when I was in school myself, many of my friends and family members were also struggling to find ways to get higher education,” she said in a phone interview. She said she founded the nonprofit to be a “one-stop shop” for people to find the resources they need.

Each organization and scholarship recommended by Scholarship Sharing is vetted and collected on their website. Students are taught to keep track of key details when applying for scholarships, like deadlines and required paperwork.

Military families will be connected to local organizations designed for their particular needs, and volunteers are prepared to aid adults that want to go back to school as well as high school students. There are also trade schools to consider.

Spanish speakers will be accommodated and all questions will be heard, SantaLucia said.

“We will be present after the event for as long as it takes to get everyone’s questions answered,” she said.

Visit for more information on this session and more scheduled events.