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Feb 25, 2010 (WALB) - You may turn to your pastor for spiritual guidance or counseling, but what about advice about school? Administrators at Albany Technical College know ministers can provide all sorts of helpful information to church members.

That's why they want to make sure pastors know what Albany Tech has to offer.

Organizers say this luncheon grows each year. This year about 100 clergy members showed up ready to learn more about Albany Tech.

Reverend Anthony Smith often encounters kids and adults unsure about their future.

"The job market is kind of hard today the more education they have the better chances they have at landing a real good job," said Smith.

But Smith was unsure about his future too. It wasn't until he was 35-years old when he decided to enroll in Albany Tech, and pursue a degree in Architecture.

"I'm showing them at even at 37 to kind of inspire them that no matter what age there is still that opportunity to receive that education," said Smith.

Today Smith was one of many clergy members involved in the school's faith based community luncheon.

"It really gives us more in depth information to what's going on to help us talk about it more," said Smith.

Presenters talked about different educational choices at Albany Tech, financial aid options and employment opportunities available to graduates.

"We get many referrals by people who have been advised by their pastor to come look at our programs or courses to help get their careers on a better path," said Pamela Hegler, Vice President of Student Services and Enrollment Management.

But event organizers know just what an important part local ministers play in education, and they hope to strengthen that relationship.

"I know that the pastors have their hands on lots and lots of people and if we can make that connection with the pastors I know we can reach many more people," said Heglar.

Smith says pursuing a college degree can also help someone discover their purpose in life.

"If you tap into someone and help them find their purpose then they will know what avenue to take education wise," said Smith.

He hopes he can use his knowledge and help as many people discover their purpose as possible.

Officials at Albany Tech say right now several churches bring their youth groups for tours of Albany Tech and they hope to expand that and get more people actively involved.

This years theme was "Strengthening the community, one family at a time."

By  Stephanie Springer

Read original story HERE!



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