State Update from Kansas

“To the Stars Through Difficulty” is not just the Kansas motto – it is a way of life.  The KASFAA Board continues to think outside the box and reimagine the way we “do business” in the state.  This year, I am very excited to report we have an outstanding number of new volunteers to help guide the ship!  An astonishing 91 people in the state stepped up and said “yes!” to volunteering either as an officer or committee volunteer.  Past President Tony Lubbers is closing in on the slate of officers that we will soon be voting on to take over in the next year.  Once again we have received a wonderful response.  The future of KASFAA is in very good hands.

When the Board considers things to focus on, our attention directs itself first to the mission of the organization.  The mission of KASFAA has a primary emphasis on membership training.  Because of that, KASFAA still holds two face-to-face training events – one in the fall and one in the spring.  Both training events continue to be well attended and members find them useful for sharing ideas and catching up.  President-Elect Deb Brewer and her team of “animals” are cooking up exciting things for the Fall Training which will be held October 21-23 in Salina, Kansas.

On the entrepreneurial front, KASFAA finds itself asking big questions about what we are doing for outreach and service to high schools and high school students – another focus of our mission.  As the FAFSA becomes easier and easier to complete, the need for events like College Goal Sunday become less helpful.  Early this winter, the KASFAA Board disbanded its College Goal Sunday committee and replaced it with the FAFSA Completion Taskforce headed by Linda Oldham-Burns of the Kansas Board of Regents to tackle the question of how to better serve the students and high school counselors in the state of Kansas.

Another committee that is re-evaluating their work is the Publicity and Outreach group headed by Stephannie DeLong.  This group is concentrating on creating an online resource base for high school counselors and students and expanding outreach in ways that speak to teenagers today.  Again, because of the expanding amount of Federal websites containing cost information about schools in electronic formats, last year was the final year the group published a paper based poster that contained some of this same information.  This group is examining how we can add our KASFAA stamp to information that is readily available on the Internet for students.

We have some definite challenges ahead to make our organization’s efforts more effective.  But I am confident the brain power and energy exists within our current membership to shoot the KASFAA organization back up into orbit!

kansas indian
A statue of a Kansa Indian atop the State Capitol, silhouetted against the rising moon

–Brenda Hicks, KASFAA President

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