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PHOENIX -- Since opening College Depot at Burton Barr Central Library four years ago, staff members said they have helped more than 12,000 people with the college- planning process.

"We've got a 2,400 square-foot facility equipped with ten desktop computers and a full staff providing assistance six days a week," said director Judy Reno.

Reno said the staff helps students and parents search for information on colleges, scholarships and financial aid. The depot also holds monthly workshops on topics such as how to fill out a college application or write a powerful scholarship essay. Assistance is available at no charge.

"What we get is an opportunity for more first generation college students to achieve their educational dreams and then get more prosperous jobs in the future," Reno said. "It's really great for our economic development."

Demand is so high that Phoenix is expanding the services to four more branches this week:

• Cholla Library, 10050 Metro Parkway East, Monday, Oct. 14, 11:30 a.m.

• Cesar Chavez Library, 3635 W. Baseline Road, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1:30 p.m.

• South Mountain Community Library, 7050 W. 24th St., Wednesday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m.

• Palo Verde Library, 4402 N. 51st Ave., Thursday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m.

Christina Estes, Reporter

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