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Rep. Peter Welch, VSAC announce new initiative with Winooski HS

Mentoring seniors for the next step in their education future

WINOOSKI (Oct. 17, 2017)—Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and Rep. Peter Welch, (D-VT), today announced a new yearlong mentorship program with the Winooski High School senior class aimed at encouraging more seniors to continue their education after graduation.

VSAC is “adopting” the senior class and will provide personalized counseling and assistance to seniors as they explore education and training programs as well as apply for financial aid, grants and scholarships.

“We know that the jobs of today and in the future will require education and training beyond high school. VSAC has been working for students for over 50 years and their guidance will be invaluable,” said Welch. “This is a unique opportunity for Winooski seniors and for Vermont’s economy.”

Winooski High School is building a learning culture where students develop the habits, skills and knowledge important to success in college, careers and civic engagement, said Superintendent Sean McMannon.

“We want Winooski High School to be a place where students are compelled to be their best, are recognized for their strengths, and are highly prepared to make their way in an ever-changing world. Our seniors are the role models for younger students. When they succeed, it builds a culture of accomplishment for other students to follow,” McMannon said.

VSAC counselors will work individually with seniors and their families to map out career opportunities and the educational pathways needed for success. The goal is to see that at least 80 percent of seniors complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, so that students and families know how much financial aid, grants and scholarships they may qualify for.

“Figuring out financial aid is one of the biggest pieces of the education puzzle for students and families,” said Scott Giles, VSAC president and CEO.  “Too many students make decisions about their educations without unlocking all of the aid that they are entitled to. From the Pell grant and Vermont state grant to VSAC scholarships and institutional aid, the FAFSA is the starting point in making education affordable.”

The mentorship program at Winooski is a first for VSAC and Vermont, Giles said.  “We are excited to adopt our local school and see this as a launching pad for renewed statewide efforts to support students, increase aspirations and ensure they obtain all of the financial aid they are entitled to.”

Governor Phil Scott has proclaimed October as FAFSA Filing Month and has set a statewide goal that 65 percent of high school seniors will complete a FAFSA before graduating. VSAC will offer free workshops at over 60 local high schools through mid-December to help families fill out financial aid forms. The workshop schedule and other FAFSA resources are available at

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives