Between the Helios Grant and a donation from the Joey Bennett Trust, the Citrus County Coalition for College and Careers (CCCCC) has $25,000 to distribute to students who attend their Summer RISE program.

In partnership with the Suncoast YMCA, College of Central Florida (CF), the Citrus County Education Foundation, Citrus County Schools and the Citrus County Chronicle, the CCCCC will provide high school students with Resources, Information, Support and Entry into post-secondary learning.  

“There’s two different sessions that will occur,” said CCCCC director, Darrick Buettner.

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Darrick Buettner

Darrick Buettner

The first RISE session is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 21 for the classes of 2020 and 2021. The purpose of this session is to ensure recent graduates whose post-graduation plans were affected by COVID-19 that “it’s not too late,” Patrick Simon, president of the CCCCC said. This session includes:

  • $10 gas card incentive for attendees.
  • Individualized help from CF staff.
  • A tour of the CF campus and their resources.
  • FASFA completion and CF application assistance.
  • Waiver of the $30 CF application fee.
  • Continental breakfast and lunch.

This session also corresponds to CF’s open house. “The open house is for students who have already enrolled,” Simon said. Representatives of Withlacoochee Technical College (WTC) will be in attendance as well.

The second session is for the class of 2022 and will meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 21 and 22. With their current funds, the CCCCC will offer the first 50 students who sign-up a $500 scholarship.

“Some of the activities that we will be following up with is how to write a resume and how to write a college essay,” Buettner said. This session also includes:

  • $10 gas card incentive each day.
  • Career exploration online tool.
  • Introduction and explanation of the FASFA application process.
  • CF application assistance with waiver of the $30 application fee.
  • Guidance with college and university applications.
  • Local scholarship resources and application assistance.
  • Continental breakfast and lunch.

WTC and CF representatives will be in attendance, as well as guidance counselors and high school student ambassadors from each school. High school graduates who are currently attending colleges or universities will be there to offer their assistance, along with mentors and community leaders who will assist with interview strategies.  

To begin the application process for either session, text @20and21 to 81010. Once approved to join, application forms will be sent out via text.

Hannah is a reporter for the Chronicle. She can be reached at 352-564-2929 or email

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