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A clean approach to college

Steven Beard squeegees a car window during the car wash to benefit the College Application Education Project. Photo by Paula Muller

By Michele Durgin

LYNN — With the start of school looming days away, Sabrina Alphonce,16, spent part of Saturday washing cars and having fun doing it.

For Alphonce, an English High School sophomore, the wet work was a chance to say thank you for the help she received from a local organization dedicated to helping students prepare for college.

Sponsored by Zion Baptist Church, the College Application Education Project (CAEP)  offers mentoring and advice to local youth and their families as they embark on the often confusing and difficult college application process.

“We’ve been blessed with many dedicated supporters over the past 12 years. I hope we can continue to assist families of all cultures with direct college preparation, especially the often confusing application and financial aid paperwork,” said CAEP President Arthur Akers.

CAEP sponsored a car wash and fish fry on Saturday that drew Alphonce and other volunteers.

“I have learned so much here. And, I am very grateful to everyone at the program,” she said, adding, “I am now able to write a resume. I am also working on how to fill out college applications properly, and I am getting practice time in essay writing. I will need to use these skills very soon, and because of this program I know that I will be prepared to handle the big decisions I will be facing in my life.”

Akers said he is grateful for the support CAEP has received over the years.

“Because of so many caring people, we’ve been able to offer mentoring, tutoring, and trips to colleges for countless needy local youth and their families,” he said. “I am proud that we’ve been able to take these terrific teens on visits to schools such as Boston College, Harvard,Yale, Northeastern University and the Naval Academy. It’s important that they see these schools and know, that with hard work and dedication, each of these colleges and universities is an attainable and realistic goal for them.”

CAEP’s next meeting will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 11:00 a.m. in the church.

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