BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Senior year is a time to plan, and it is a year of change for many students- and their parents — as seniors prepare to fly the nest and build their own lives.

Woodrow Wilson High School staff and principal welcomed the Class of 2024 to their last year of high school with a special Senior Expo on Thursday, August 3, 2023, and Friday August 4, 2023, designed to get rising seniors excited and to help them prepare for life after graduation.

“A lot of us can’t believe that we’re already here, because it feels like we just came in the ninth grade, and, now, it’s just gone by really fast,” said Alexis Everette, a senior who attended the expo on Friday. “I’m hoping it’s going to be pretty smooth. I’m a little scared, though, because it’s crazy that I’m already a senior.

The Senior Expo gave students opportunities to meet with university and college admissions experts to learn more about available financial aid and scholarships. Students were also able to get vaccines and to meet with employers, military recruiters, and those from social service agencies.

“The Division of Rehab Services, or VOC Rehab, they were available,” said WWHS Counselor Erica Hampton. “So, students that have (individualized educational plan) or a diagnosed medical condition can actually receive services to help with tuition, books. Students that have went into the coal mines have actually received, like, work boots.”

A West Virginia University representative said such events give students a better idea of what they may want to pursue after high school.

“Events like this are really important to engage with the community, obviously, inform students of the opportunities they have educationally, post-educationally, to be able to visit campuses, you know, obviously, not just the one I work, but all sorts of different campuses and see what would fit them best and just get the information they need to make a decision about their next steps,” said WVU Student Financial Services Coordinator Korey Tedder.