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City councilman, county supervisor team up to help students

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

From left, Madera City Councilmember Will Oliver, United Way president/CEO Lindsey Callahan, Madera County Supervisor Brett Frazier and his daughters, baby Emma and Hallie gather at the Community Action Partnership of Madera County to talk about the services the United Way has to offer.


Members of the city and county government of Madera, along with United Way, will be conducting a workshop for college students seeking a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) grant in Madera.

The workshop, which will be at the Community Action Partnership of Madera County office at 1225 Gill Ave., was conceived by Madera City Councilman Will Oliver and Madera County District 1 Supervisor Brett Frazier. Oliver and Frazier, who have areas within their jurisdictions which overlap, found that they had an excessive amount of money that could be put to good use.

“A couple years ago, we were startled to learn that more than $2 million had been left on the table,” Oliver said, “so we decided: ‘hey, let’s do a workshop, so that we can bring in professionals from Fresno State’s financial services office to help students and families navigate the FAFSA process.’”

“It was a great project for us because we want to do whatever we can in Madera,” said United Way Fresno and Madera Counties president and CEO Lindsay Callahan, “and when Supervisor Frazier and city council member Oliver called us, we jumped at the chance because this right up our alley.”

Both Oliver and Frazier represent United Way, and seek to assist students in the sometimes complicated matters that come with applying for student aid. According to Oliver, 44 percent of high school seniors have applied for FAFSA grants.

“Sometimes, it can be very cumbersome, with the application,” Frazier said, “so we have people that are trained in how to get them though that process, and fill out the application correctly, so that it wastes less time, and it’s able to get the kids the money they need for school.”

“It’s important. We have a lot of fantastic, and capable, intelligent young people attending Madera schools,” Oliver said, “and so we want to make sure we’re doing everything that we can, working small and large measure, to ensure that they have opportunities, that they have resources to achieve a college education, and to continue to pursue that success.”

The workshop will from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday. Advisers from the financial aid office at Fresno State University will also be present.


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