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College and career day a success

PAL Jay Hill escorts Aaron Lipman.

The annual College and Career Day at PHS followed a similar format this year, but there were a few new additions that enhanced the experience for the students.

“Collin College brought their mobile college fair this year,” said Principal James Lovelady. “Students were able to rotate through the enclosed trailer to hear a presentation, and it featured laptops so it was interactive for the kids.”

The Mobile Go Center is a 42-foot, air-conditioned trailer equipped with laptop computers, televisions, a printer and internet connectivity. According to the College Express program at Collin, it is used to promote a college-going culture and provide high school students and their families with the information and tools needed to gain access to college.

Liz Howard, a representative with Collin, said College Express makes the college exploration and application process a breeze, while parents and students can learn the latest tips on financial aid and transitioning from high school to college.

In addition to the Collin Mobile Go, juniors and seniors split their time between the college fair, which featured more than 80 schools and five branches of the military, and a presentation on their options for paying for their post-secondary education.

“College and career day is so important for our students because they only have a few years in high school before they are off to their future,” counselor Kayla Walling said. “It's important for students to start considering what they want to do after high school and the path that they will take to their destination.”

In addition to the upperclassmen, freshman and sophomore students attended four sessions where they heard about possible career options from local speakers.

“We had 32 speakers who represented a variety of career options to get the underclassmen thinking about their future,” said assistant principal Lauren Stokes “These careers require a certain amount of preparation, and the students need to start thinking about the route they need to take.”

Mrs. Stokes said she was excited about the options this year.

“We have a very good selection this year,” she said. “I think the students were extremely interested in their choices.”

Saige Singer visits with Northeast Texas Community College rep Jimmy Smith. Rachael Beatty and Eden Burke. One popular career path this year was law enforcement forensics, which featured several speakers, including someone who worked in the field of crime scene cleanup, as well as officers who investigate crimes using forensic evidence.

Although the counselors organized the event, it took help from different programs to make the day a success.

The culinary arts program and PALs students served as the day’s hospitality hosts.

The PALs students greeted college representatives and assisted them during table setups. The hospitality effort continued in the form of a home cooked brunch for the college visitors.

“We have been cooking for college day since it started many years ago,” culinary arts teacher Crystal Telles said. “The kids work hard to make sure our guests have a positive experience with our program.”

The culinary arts students host the brunch for speakers. The counselors said all the volunteers, both inside and outside of PHS, made the day possible.

“We want to thank the teachers and staff for their support,” Ms. Walling said. “And we especially want to thank the community members who volunteered their time to come and speak with our students.”

Cole McDonough with Austin College and senior Ripley Qualls.