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New College and Career Centers open to help guide Pinellas students after graduation

Posted at 12:00 PM, Feb 12, 2020

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County Schools is broadening students’ horizons when it comes to life after graduation. This year they opened new college and career resource centers at their high schools.

Throughout the day, Clearwater High School students are entering the College and Career Center with questions and leaving with answers.

“So, I came into this with an idea where I wanted to go, and they actually further helped me to cover most of my funds going into college to make it easier for my family paying for all four years,” said student Kaiden Padgett.

Padgett knew he had the grades and talent to receive a football scholarship to Kenyon College. The center told him what to do next.

“Cause obviously they didn’t want to just tell me, ‘congratulations, this is going to be really easy, this is going to be a breeze,’ they wanted to make sure I knew what I needed to get done but also wanted to make sure it wasn’t a stress on me,” said Padgett.

Principal Keith Mastorides proudly handed out five Clearwater for Youth Scholarships this week. He said the center’s main goal is helping students get to the next level.

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“One-stop shop, so I need assistance with the SAT/ACT, I need to find out how to apply for the colleges, I need to find out what scholarships are available, how do I get financial aid, how do I get into a technical school, all those pieces are right here,” said Mastorides.

Destiny Turner just received a full ride to Princeton. She thought she was all set until the center informed her there was even more financial aid still available.

“They helped you find these extra scholarship opportunities to help you pay for stuff that you didn’t realize you had to pay for at first,” said Turner.

The center is always staffed throughout the day. Whether it’s filling out applications or boosting your SAT scores, they are paving the way for the future, one student at a time.

“Helping us get to whatever the next level is whether it’s going into the workforce, trade school, community college or a big university,” said student Javante Scott.

There are also College and Career Centers in Boca Ciega, Gibbs, Largo and Pinellas Park high schools.

They are always looking for volunteers. For more information, go to