Grant Pro­vides RHS Stu­dents Col­lege Ac­cess

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY VIR­GINIA STILL

With the end of the school year about a month away, se­niors at River­bank High School are not only pre­par­ing for grad­u­a­tion but also for their fu­ture. Through a grant re­ceived from the state, Nancy Gar­cia, In­struc­tional Coach and AVID District Di­rec­tor was able to take 45 RHS stu­dents on a field trip to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia last week to visit three uni­ver­si­ties: the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les (UCLA), Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Irvine (UCI), and Cal­i­for­nia State Univer­sity, Long Beach last week.

There was no cost to the stu­dents with the ex­cep­tion of a stop they made at Dis­ney­land where stu­dents paid for a ticket out of their own pocket.

They spent a few hours at each school where they re­ceived a tour and a spe­cial visit from for­mer RHS stu­dents that shared their col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence with the stu­dents.

“All the schools gave us tours,” stated Gar­cia. “This gives each school an op­por­tu­nity to re­ally ex­plain why stu­dents should con­sider their school and the ben­e­fits of at­tend­ing there. We ar­rived early to al­low the stu­dents time to visit the book­store and have lunch or break­fast and get a real feel for col­lege life at those schools.”

Dur­ing their visit to UCLA, col­lege stu­dent Katie Sear­way who was a for­mer RHS stu­dent shared her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with the group.

While they were at CSU Long Beach they spent some time in a class­room and were given a pre­sen­ta­tion on the re­quire­ments to get into the col­lege and learned about top­ics in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial aid, schol­ar­ships, and spe­cial pro­grams.

“The schools CAMP (Col­lege As­sis­tance Mi­grant Pro­gram) re­cruiter was the per­son who or­ga­nized the pre­sen­ta­tion and tour,” added Gar­cia.

“Mikayla Flo­res, for­mer RHS stu­dent, met with the group there and talked about her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence at­tend­ing Long Beach but also told the stu­dents that they were lucky to be able to have the op­por­tu­nity to visit col­leges be­cause in high school she also went on a col­lege tour like his one and that’s how she ended up at CSU Long Beach.”

Af­ter spend­ing some time at UCLA they moved on to the hap­pi­est place on earth, as they made their way to Dis­ney­land to spend a few hours there.

When asked about a stand­out mo­ment dur­ing the field trip, Gar­cia ex­pressed that meet­ing the for­mer stu­dents at the col­lege cam­puses was a

high­light, not­ing that it re­ally gave the stu­dents a pos­i­tive out­look and re­al­ity of at­tend­ing col­lege.

“They re­ally re­in­forced the im­por­tance of grades, vol­un­teer­ing to help their ap­pli­ca­tions stand out, said Gar­cia. “Most im­por­tantly how af­ford­able col­lege is if you do your home­work and ap­ply for schol­ar­ships.”

The Col­lege Readi­ness Grant pro­vided the funds to take the stu­dents on the field trip which was cre­ated to in­crease the num­ber of stu­dents that en­roll in col­lege and re­ceive a de­gree within four years.

“Many of our stu­dents ap­ply and get ac­cepted to schools they haven’t vis­ited,” ex­plained Gar­cia. “If you haven’t vis­ited it’s dif­fi­cult to know if that is the right choice for you. Choos­ing a col­lege is hard enough, so you re­ally need to know and ex­pe­ri­ence it be­fore you make a choice.”

PHOTO CON­TRIB­UTED

Forty-five stu­dents from River­bank High School took a field trip to three col­leges in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia and are shown here pos­ing for a group photo at UCLA, one of the three schools they vis­ited.

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