NEWS | Feb. 25, 2020

Virginia Guard Youth Program hosts college readiness workshop

By Staff Reports

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The Virginia National Guard Youth Program hosted a college readiness event for National Guard and Reserve families Feb. 22, 2020, at the Mason-Ruhren Readiness Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia. A trio of speakers provided information for teens and parents in the areas of college preparation, financial readiness, and information about applying to military academies.

In addition to these topics, a resource time was held over lunch with representatives from Virginia Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention, the National Guard Education Office, and community resources such as Military OneSource, Navy Federal Credit Union, and a few local colleges.

 “The event was designed to present a comprehensive but concise look into college readiness by bringing together community and National Guard resources for families,” said Joe Duerksen, Virginia National Guard Lead Child and Youth Coordinator. “We had both parents and youth participating and asking questions throughout the day as our speakers targeted the key topics of preparing for the college application process, information on financial aid, starting a budget, and debt after college; and a detailed first-hand account into the different ways to apply to a military academy. I don’t think any question went unanswered or anyone left feeling uninformed.”

“This was great,” said parent and attendee Rebekah McClung. “Parents should stick around for the event. I think we had just as many questions as the youth! Thanks for this planning!”

According to Duerksen, the Youth Program plans on doing another similar event in the fall in central or eastern Virginia. 

For information about the college readiness information delivered during this event or for more information about upcoming events with the National Guard Youth Program, please contact Joe Duerksen,, or connect with their Facebook page,

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