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News: Community Resource Fair connects students with essential services for success

Individuals stand talking in front of a 'United Way' table. Several other individuals are around other tables.

Marlon Petty, with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, begins to put up an exhibit for the organization during the Community Resource Fair in the atrium at Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus.

December 8, 2022

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

Students at Roane State’s two largest campuses recently had the opportunity to learn first-hand some of the many resources available to them during their collegiate careers.

The second annual Community Resource Fair was held in the Coffey/McNally Building on the Oak Ridge Branch Campus and the Vann Student Center at the flagship campus in Roane County.

“We’re just so grateful to all of the individuals from the community agencies who come out and spend time with our students, educating them about the services provided in the area,” said Dr. Lisa Steffensen, dean of students.

From help in landing a job to obtaining free medical care, displays described assistance readily available for students in need. But not all displays were directed exclusively toward students.

One-to-one mentoring opportunities for those age 16 and up were described by Marlon Petty, engagement supervisor in Roane State’s service area for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America.

Another nonprofit, ROANEnet, offered information on how disadvantaged students can obtain affordable high-speed internet access.

Skill Up Tennessee is UT Extension Service’s SNAP Employment and Training program. Employee Lindsay Lipps was available to describe the benefits available through SNAP to students in two-year colleges.

The resource fair enabled her to meet representatives of other similar groups, Lipps said. “It’s nice to see other organizations we can network with,” she said.

Other participants in the fair: Aid for Distressed Families of Appalachia, United Way of Anderson County, Vocational Rehabilitation, Ridgeview Psychiatric Hospital & Center, Inc., Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention, Helen Ross McNabb Center, Tennessee Justice Center, Crossroads Center of Hope-Crossroads Ministry, Life Choices, Free Medical Clinic and TN Suicide Prevention Network.

For more information on resources available to Roane State students as they pursue their educational and career goals, visit roanestate.edu/need.

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