Mount Anthony students learn about transition, college programs, services and opportunities

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BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony Union High School held its annual college and transition fairs, to help students begin to plan for life after graduation.

This is the ninth year that the Bennington County Transition Fair has been held at the school. The fair was open to all youth ages 14 and up in Bennington County, and their parents, according to MAUHS special educator Janet Palmer, who said that it, "provides a venue for agencies to share information about services and programs that may be of interest to students as they transition into the community." The fair is run by the Bennington County Core Transition Team, which is made up of volunteers from local organizations, such as United Counseling Services, Vocational Rehabilitation, Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union, the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union, Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union, and the School and Workforce Partnership.

Organizations that were present for the Transition Fair included the Bart Center, the Vermont Job Corp, Green Mountain Express, the Bennington Special Olympics, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, the College Steps program, the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council, Citizens Bank, Anytime Fitness, Sunrise Family Resource Center, and the Tutorial Center.

Pilar Lopez-Gomez, of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, said that she had spoken with many students about her organization's four-week sessions for high schoolers, in which students are paid to perform trail work across the state over the summer. "It's a unique program," she said, "so it's certainly not for everyone."

Maryann St. John of BROC said she was focused less on finding volunteers for her organization, and more on spreading the word about the services it offers. Some students, she said, might find themselves struggling to make ends meet after graduating. "We want people to understand, they can call us," she said.

At the college fair, students met with representatives from dozens of colleges, from the New England area and beyond. Bennington College was represented at the fair, and the school's representative said that she had spoken with many students, none of whom were interested in Bennington because of the proximity, but instead because they were interested in the curriculum. She said many students had expressed interest in studying a wide range of arts and humanities, including art, music, and philosophy.

"At Bennington College," she said, "that's what we try to foster, an interest in everything."

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.


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