Virtual Event Dashboard

2023 Virtual College Fair

October 16, 2021

Your Guide to Life after High School!

Mark your calendars!  Homeschoolers of Maine is hosting a Virtual College Fair on October 16th, 2021 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Register for FREE at the bottom of the page!


It's never too early to think about college, trade school, and/or the military!  Come and listen to dynamic keynote speakers addressing topics such as financing college, tips and tricks for getting ready, application processes, and more!


Be sure to visit the Virtual College Fair Exhibit Hall where you can check out colleges, college preparatory vendors, and more! 


PLUS! Don't Miss These Additional Special Events!

October 22, 2021 at10am, Writing Successful College Essays (Angela Hurd)


Learn to write successful college essays with a veteran high school English teacher!  In this webinar you will learn:

--what a college essay is or isn't

--what colleges are looking for in a college essay and why those essays are important

--tips and tricks for writing the college essay

--how to write a college essay by analyzing successful student models


By the end of the webinar, you will be able to get started on your own college essay and then follow up with and get feedback from a veteran high school English teacher. Register here and a meeting link will be sent to you prior to the event.


October 30, 2021 at 10am, How to Leverage Early College for your Post-secondary Education (Rachael Magill, Kari Suderley, and Christy Alley)


The landscape of Early College has vastly expanded within Maine over the past few years. With more opportunities for students, it can be challenging to know what is the best path for you or your child. This presentation will give a general overview of the Aspirations program, discuss the benefits and challenges students may encounter as well as some helpful tools and strategies to consider when deciding how to take advantage of this program.


Join us as UMA, UMaine and UMaine Machias Early College Directors team up to present an informative session on Early College Enrollment and answers your questions!  Register here and a meeting link will be sent to you prior to the event!   


Event Details for October 16



Date: Saturday, October 16, 2021 

Location: Zoom 

Cost: FREE! (Register to receive a meeting link at the bottom of the page.)



Use the chat option through Facebook Messenger in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.



 9:30am - The Early College Landscape in Maine (Rachael Magill & Kari Suderley)


What is Early College, how can my student get more information about offerings, why should I participate? These are just a few of the many questions that arise on a weekly basis within UMA’s Office of Early College. Early College in Maine is no longer one of the best kept secrets, but it can be challenging to know where to start. The presentation will speak about the program in general and how to become informed. This will be Part 1 in the conversation, which will be followed up by a longer presentation on Saturday, October, 30th at 10am, How to Leverage Early College for your Post-secondary Education. 


10:00am - adMission Possible - Prepare Like an Ivy Applicant (Jean Burk)


Most students won’t be accepted or really don’t care to go to a top-tier or Ivy League school; they are extremely selective regardless of high stats. But what if you knew the criterion to get into one? This information could be used to over prepare for other schools, especially if they are test blind. Ultimately it could help you to stand out at other colleges or just in case you did want to attend one of "The Ancient Eight.


10:45am - Navigate: How to Figure out the Big Decisions and Multiple Options of Young Adulthood (Jonathan Brush)


Making big life decisions isn't easy. For many young adults, facing new decisions — decisions about college, career, life purpose, and more — is overwhelming. And instead of leading to confidence and excitement about the future, big decisions often lead to stress and stalling out. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if your student stopped trying to make decisions by grasping for the one "perfect" answer? What if, instead, they learned to make decisions through a process of asking questions, testing multiple answers, and reflecting on possible outcomes?


In this session, we'll discuss principles behind the kind of productive question-asking and decision-making that equips young adults to move forward with confidence.


11:30am - All Students Can Beat Standardized Tests-Why You Should be Loving the CLT (Jean Burk)


The Classic Learning Test has become the gamechanger in the time of COVID-19. Their enrollment has steadily increased 1000% weekly and it has been accepted by "all colleges" in lieu of the SAT/ACT cancellations. This test could be your open door to college entrance and scholarship money now and after the pandemic. 


12:30pm - Lunch Break


1:00pm - Making College Affordable and Ways to Maximize Financial Aid (Nikki Vachon)


Paying for college seems like something you start thinking about senior year of high school but in reality, the earlier you start, the more prepared you’ll be. Join Nikki Vachon, College Access Counselor to talk about ways you can start planning for your child’s education now, no matter their age, that will help maximize the amount of aid you receive as well as ways to shop for an affordable college. We’ll also focus on how to apply for financial aid, look for scholarships (did you know that there are scholarships that middle school students could apply for?) and share best practices. Bring your questions!!


1:45pm - Military Options for Graduates (David P. O'Neil & SSG Rowe)


With less than 1% of our population serving in the military it is not always a pathway on students short list.  The Army offers many rewarding opportunities for individual’s to grow and develop skills such as Leadership, Discipline, Loyalty and Respect which are  traits highly sought after in today’s competitive job market.  Learn what the Army is like through the experience of an active duty soldier.  Education is one of the keys to building a successful future.  Professional training and challenging experiences combined with a wide range of educational opportunities can help make you a better Soldier and person.


2:30pm - Early Graduation Options (Kathi Kearney)


Sometimes homeschooled students finish high school early, either because they needed the challenge of advanced coursework, have been learning right along with an older sibling, or finished a basic high school course of study and wish to move on to work or career training. In this session, HOME Board Member and Maine Certified Teacher Kathi Kearney shares more about the questions, options and legal considerations surrounding graduation for students under the age of 17.


Guest Speakers (More to Come!)

Jean Burk is the author of the award-winning College Prep Genius program and has had numerous articles published about the SAT and PSAT tests, high school prep, college prep, and how to get free college. She is a Fox News contributor and has been featured as an SAT expert on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and many other news shows.


She homeschooled both her children and they each earned free college and incredible scholarships because of their PSAT and SAT scores. Some of the benefits included full tuition, room and board, unlimited laundry and lunchroom passes, study abroad stipends, etc. Her son also earned free law                                                                                  school and her daughter earned free grad school.


She currently travels and speaks about the importance of college preparation at conventions, book fairs, schools, libraries, etc. She has taught her revolutionary, award-winning “Master the SAT” Prep Class all over the United States, mainland China, India, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and Thailand. Her program is presented in-person, through eCourses and virtual boot camps at Students have raised their SAT as much as 700 points and ACT 9 points! Her program is the official test prep program used at HSLDA. Her Vocabcafé book series helps teenagers and younger children increase their knowledge of SAT level vocabulary words through fun and wholesome books and her “High School Prep Genius” book won the “Blue Ribbon Award” for the best and favorite college prep resource!

Nikki Vachon is a College Access Counselor at Finance Authority Of Maine. Nikki has been part of the outreach team at FAME for five years and serves Aroostook, Hancock, and Penobscot & Washington Counties.  She came to us with 17 years of financial aid experience.  She completed her undergraduate degree in at the University of ME at Presque Isle and completed her MBA in Business at Husson University in 2007.  Her passion is working to make sure every student has educational opportunities and giving them the foundation to make good financial decisions. She lives in Bangor with her husband, has three step children.  She welcomed her first grandchild, Ellie and a new puppy, Murphy into the family in 2018!

Jonathan Brush is a first generation homeschool graduate, the President and CEO of Unbound, and homeschool dad of six, Jonathan has spoken for over a decade to parents, students, and groups across the country about effectively preparing young adults for life, the excitement and adventure of raising a family, maximizing higher education options, and how to be extraordinary at ordinary things. With a fresh, enthusiastic speaking approach, he consistently provides new perspective, practical advice, and honest hope to audiences of varied ages and backgrounds. Jonathan worked for nine years as a Director of Admissions for a private liberal arts college and has since worked in non-traditional higher education for over a decade. Jonathan and his family make their home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Kathi Kearney serves on the board of directors for Homeschoolers of Maine. She has worked with homeschooling families in Maine for more than 30 years and helped to author Maine's homeschool law. Kathi teaches gifted & talented students in Maine, is a Professional Associate with the Gifted Development Center in Denver, and teaches online courses for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Dave Oneil is an Education Services Specialist with U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion – New England with over 16 years’ experience in the field.  Dave was also a career Army Officer with  21 years active duty with a career covering multiple assignments including teaching at the United States Military Academy.  As a New England Native (Boston) it has been a rewarding profession to talk with educators about the opportunities the Army can provide to our prospective soldiers.

Rachael Magill is the Director of Early College for the University of Maine at Augusta and has been in this position for over 6 years. Prior to this she coordinated Early College programs in the greater Philadelphia region for Arcadia University as well as worked in undergraduate and graduate admissions. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Masters of Arts in Humanities where she focused on International Peace and Conflict Resolution. She lives in Southern Maine with her husband, daughter, two dogs and two cats. When she's not working you will find her at the beach, reading or attempting to sew.


Kari Suderley, originally from Ohio, moved to Maine in 1999. She brings the experience of having worked as a career and education advisor for a local non-profit for 5 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Leadership Studies from the University of Maine.


Kari joined the staff at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in the fall of 2017 and began her work with Early College in the Spring of 2018. Through her leadership in the Early College program, it is evident that Kari is passionate about helping students find the resources they need to be successful in college coursework.  Kari is dedicated to building relationships with students, faculty, staff, and the community.

SSG Jason Rowe has been in the National Guard for over 11 years. Prior to being a recruiter he was an electrician with the 136th EN. Co. in Lewiston, Maine. He worked on many projects across the state helping schools, Boys and Girls camps, and other projects. He's been to El Salvador to help build a school. His project was running wire so the school could have power. Over the last several years, SSG Rowe has been in recruiting battalion helping to educate people about the guard and changing lives for those who want to be a part of the Maine Army National Guard.

Many Thanks to Our College Fair Sponsors!

Registration is FREE!

You'll receive a meeting link via email just prior to the event.


For a donation of $10 or more, your family will be listed as a Virtual College Fair Partner and receive a free gift!