RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond mom and teacher Maricia Chavis can vividly recall the experience she had getting two of her children ready for college.
She said preparing for the new chapter was daunting but when the day came to start classes, her children were well prepared.
"I have Carson Davis who is a junior at Virginia State University, a mechanical engineering major. And then I have a daughter, Malia Chavis. She is a sophomore at George Mason University," Chavis said.
For many students, deciding where to go to college can be difficult. For many parents, figuring out how to pay for their education is even harder.
"Oh, it's overwhelming. At first, it's overwhelming," Chavis said.
Chavis is encouraging parents and high school students to get started early and give themselves plenty of time to fill out paperwork for scholarships and financial aid.
"It is helpful when the school or organizations present events where the students can have options of schools and they can present different options of financial aid and scholarships," Chavis said.
This weekend, a Central Virginia nonprofit will help ease what can be an overwhelming and stressful process.
Nkechi George-Winkler, the President of the Richmond Chapter of the Continental Societies, Inc., explained what participants in the virtual preparedness workshop can expect.
"Our goal is to provide the resources to help our students and our parents make their goal of higher education a reality," George-Winkler said. "Families will learn tips on the college preparation process, how to complete an application, what colleges are looking for. More importantly, we are going to share tips on how to pay for it."
The free workshop is on Saturday, will be held virtually and is open to all Richmond area students.
The event will host expert advice from financial aid advisors, something Chavis believes that students and parents need to get their college experience started on a strong note.
"We want to make sure that our students reach their optimal potential by providing services and programs such as this. We know the importance of education, joy, the more you learn, the more you earn," George-Winkler said.
The workshop "Preparing For College and Paying For It" is a free virtual event. It will begin Saturday at noon.
Participants must register in advance for the event. To register and for more information, click here.