Students from Mexico High School and Missouri Military Academy gathered Friday at the MHS sports complex to meet with approximately 50 representatives from colleges and universities, apprenticeship programs and the armed forces.

The annual event was coordinated by Ayanna Shivers, director of college and career counseling at MMA, and Kristan Turlington, a guidance counselor at MHS, through the Missouri Association of College Admission Counselors.

Busloads of MMA cadets arrived at the high school, where MHS students had scheduled times to visit throughout the 90-minute fair.

Turlington said the event is very convenient for Mexico students. The fair has had apprenticeship programs in the past, but the total represented increased this year, she said.

“We have really been wanting to increase that … so we’re reaching across the board of what students want to do,” Turlington said.

The schools helped prepare its students prior to the event, Turlington and Shivers said.

At MHS, students are guided through visiting college websites and given pointers on how to chat with college representatives. “(They look) for what they can find on the website, versus questions (they) want to ask in person (to) really get a feel for the personality of the school,” Turlington said.

MMA uses a system known as Naviance, which helps students not only prepare college applications and other forms, but also for the post-secondary options fair. “Advisers are encouraged to have cadets research colleges/universities and careers using the system,” Shiver said.

Both schools also use a program known as Strivescan. Students are able to enter their personal information into the app which then is encoded into a quick response code admissions reps can scan. The information allows the various schools to send information packets to students who have their QR code scanned.

“It’s been nice to see the mix of communities — MMA and MHS. Next year, we really hope to get information out so more of our surrounding schools (can come),” Turlington said.

Following the fair, students from MMA and MHS and representatives were able to offer feedback on the event. Shivers said she hopes students would find they received information that will help them achieve their goals.