Passionate for Helping Students Chart Their Future

Passionate for Helping Students Chart Their Future
Posted on 02/22/2024

Thanks to the Virginia College Advising Corps, the Alleghany Foundation, and Alleghany Highlands Public Schools, students have an additional resource for advice as they plan for life after high school.

Sarai Warrick, a 2023 Washington and Lee University graduate, is serving AHPS students for the next year through the AmeriCorps-participating program. AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service agencies that connects more than 70,000 Americans annually with intensive services to meet educational needs. 

As an AmeriCorps college adviser, Warrick helps AHPS students evaluate their educational plans after graduation. In her role, she assists students in learning about different college programs, and offers help in completing college applications. Warrick also reviews student resumes, and offers valuable feedback as they chart their futures. 

Currently, Warrick is meeting with each Alleghany High School senior, but she is available to assist all students who are interested in seeking advice. Working from Alleghany’s school counseling office, she has been instrumental in setting up an online scholarship information board for students.

Heather Terrell, academic advisor and leadership class teacher, has been compiling lists of scholarships that are available to students. The scholarship board can be accessed through a QR code and by a direct link. Information about available scholarships is also posted on a bulletin board near the counseling office. As a reminder, individuals and organizations interested in supporting AHS students with a scholarship offering can contact the AHS School Counseling department at any time.  

Warrick has a passion for helping students consider their options, having been “in their shoes” just a few years ago. At Washington and Lee, she majored in cognitive and behavioral science and also studied entrepreneurship, indulging a lifelong interest in business. She is a first-generation college graduate in her family. As she considers her future, she is using her time working with AHS students to evaluate careers in education.

Warrick is from Maryland and went to Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Fla.. During high school, she participated in leadership activities. She also enjoyed serving the community by reading to young children as part of a future educators organization. Warrick was involved in an ecology club, and she was a track and field athlete. She graduated in the top 1 percent of her class. 

Warrick said that she is committed to the Virginia College Advising Corps “growing mission of increasing the number of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education.”

“I aim to be a resource for students, easing the post-high school process and making college seem like a feasible option for those who come from low-income families or will be first-generation college graduates, just like me,” she said.

Eager to give back to younger students, Warrick brings energy to her work and is approachable.  On the day of my visit, she was searching for resources for a senior who had been discussing her future plans.  It is important to know that Warrick serves as “extra hands” in the school counseling office to provide direct help as students search for application resources, appropriate programs, and scholarships. Complex advising matters, including questions about high school graduation, are still appropriately referred to AHS school counselors.

The Virginia College Advising Corps prides itself on assisting students for whom the college application process may be unfamiliar, including particularly first-generation college students.  The Virginia program is managed by the University of Virginia, and their statistics indicate an impressive number of students working with a college advisor are more likely to apply to at least one college, to submit financial aid forms, and to apply for scholarships.

AHPS is jointly funded by Alleghany County and the City of Covington. The school division serves approximately 2,700 students. It was created through the July 21, 2022, merger of Alleghany County Public Schools, Covington City Public Schools, and Jackson River Technical Center.

AHPS news and events are regularly updated on Facebook at AHPublicSchools and Instagram at ahpublicschools. Information is also available at

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