Why would four hundred and forty-eight students, seventy representatives from colleges, vocational and technical education schools, dozens of counselors and staff make a commitment to one day, October 25, in Kenai, Alaska? Simple: a time for minds to blaze with educational ideas, vision, and dreams for the future.
Twelve Kenai Peninsula high schools sent junior and senior high school students armed with questions—some they didn’t even know they had—to the second annual Kenai Peninsula College Fair.
Holding stacks of brochures inches thick; two Homer high school students paused to talk about their discoveries. Isabelle DeArmoun (senior) noted with surprise, “there are lots of schools!” She wants to attend law school and was intrigued to discover the University of Saskatchewan in Canada (even though it was a smaller school than she anticipates attending), and appreciated asking questions to the representative from the University of Portland—a school she knew she wanted to talk to. Her friend, Bella Vaz (junior) wants to study art history and envisions herself as a museum curator in the future. Vaz’s top conversation was with Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), a liberal arts college, to learn more about their School of Arts and Communication.
Up and down aisles of tables, conversations and ideas buzzed in student conversations, and between students and helpful, knowledgeable representatives who were delighted with the venue and KPBSD students.
Three young men from Ninilchik High School plan to attend the University of Alaska. David Bear has known for a year and a half that he wants to attend UAF, ultimately both performing and teaching music lessons. Guitar is his specialty. Jayke Cooper is interested in bio-tech, and had already researched his questions, but valued talking to the representative. Justin Klapak plans to study Marine Biology. He had a t-shirt in his hands and told his friends he received a “free t-shirt for doing forty pushups” from the United States Army representative.
Sue Hendrickson, the Assistant Director of Admissions for Colorado State University offered this advice after talking to students for three hours, “It would put students in a better position [for college applications] to have taken a test (SAT or ACT) by the spring of their junior year.”
Later that evening, the Renee Henderson Auditorium at Kenai Central High School was the place to be for parents and students. A fact-packed ninety minutes offered learning about federal and state financial aid programs; local scholarship offerings; important student timelines; and funding post-secondary education.
The successful Second Annual Kenai Peninsula College Fair was held at the Kenai Shopping Center, a local location large enough to welcome over five hundred students and college representatives. Students were encouraged to arrive with questions, ideas about next steps, and a desire to see what doors might open to future possibilities.
Watch for the third annual KPBSD college fair in the fall of 2012—this is a definite “do it “ event, not to be missed.
Seventy post-secondary educational institutions included:
Air National Guard; Alaska Commission on Post-Secondary Education (ACPE); AVTEC, Alaska's Institute of Technology; Alaska Pacific University; Boise State University; California Baptist University; California State University, Humboldt; Central Washington University; College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University; Colorado Mesa University; Colorado State University; Colorado State University- Pueblo; Colorado's Fort Lewis College; Eastern Oregon University; Eastern Washington University; George Fox University; Gonzaga University;
Idaho State University; Marquette University; Mayville State University; Montana State University; Northern Arizona University; Oregon Coast Culinary Institute; Oregon Institute of Technology; Oregon State University; Pacific Lutheran University; Prince William Sound Community College; Seattle University; Snow College; Southern Oregon University; Southern Utah University; Southwestern Oregon Community College; The Art Institutes; The Evergreen State College; United States Air Force Academy; US Coast Guard Academy; US Marine Corps Recruiter;
US Navy; Universal Technical Institute; University of Alaska Anchorage; University of Alaska Fairbanks Admissions; UAF Distance Education; UAF College of Engineering and Mines; UAF Community & Technical College; UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences; UAF Graduate School; University of Alaska Southeast; University Fire Department; University of Evansville; University of Hawaii at Manoa; University of Hawaii Hilo; University of Idaho; University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV); The University of Montana; University of Portland; University of Saskatchewan, Canada; University of Victoria, Canada; University of Wyoming; Western Oregon University; Western State College of Colorado; Whitman College; and Wyotech.
Thank you to everyone who worked to bring the second annual college fair to Kenai. And, thank you extends to the Financial Aid Night sponsors: Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, Connections, Kenai Central High School, Nikiski High School, Skyview High School, Soldotna High School, and Kenai Peninsula College. *Seward and Homer high schools will hold additional financial aid information dates.
Invitation to you: In the next week, make time to ask a local high school student about his or her next steps—a future they might envision, a dream worth working toward.