With college application deadlines fast approaching, senior Jonathan Bojorquez hosted Helix’s first College Fair for his senior project on Saturday, Aug 10. He invited different Helix alumni from a variety of colleges to come back and talk with the students about their schools, experiences, and some of the positive aspects that they like about their perspective schools.
That afternoon, from 3:30-6:30, the ExL room,room 1600, buzzed with students of all grade levels excited to learn about different colleges and life after high school.
With help from Cathy Singer, college counselor, as well as his project advisor, Bojorquez contacted the alumni through a mass email asking them to be a part of this event.
Bojoquez managed to get alumni from colleges such as University of California Los Angeles, San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of California Merced, University of California Santa Cruz, and Princeton.
“When I moved to America from three years ago, I didn’t know anything about college, and I really wish there was a fair that would have informed me about this,” Bojoquez said. “My biggest hope is that I really help students. That’s the point of this project: to get every grade to get something from this project, not just myself.”
“I’m hoping this is something that will grow,” Singer said, “As a senior project, we were hopeful to have 10 colleges, and we have more than that, so it’s a success already. My goal would be that in future years that it becomes a really big deal.”
“I had a dream that nobody came[…] but it was amazing. We had up to 220 students come and learn something about college,” Bojoquez said.
Seniors Hannah Houston and Danielle DaSilveria were eager to find out about their top choice, University of California Santa Cruz.
“It was helpful actually talking to a student that went there opposed to just a counselor,” DaSilveria said. “You get real experiences opposed to just something they’re paid to say.”
“He wanted to bring [the C4Me] experience to more students where they could talk to alumni about their colleges,” said Singer, “so he put together an opportunity for current Helix students to talk to current college students who graduated from Helix.”
Bojoquez wanted to bring an event such as this to the school due to the lack of opportunities he had to, “learn about colleges well before applying.”
“I wish I had something like this,” Bojoquez said, “because these are alumni who have gone through the same shoes that I’m going through right now.”
Alexis McCarroll, a Helix graduate of 2014 who is currently enrolled in Northern Arizona University, was quick to take up this offer of sharing her school. ”No one had something like this, so I didn’t get to ask people how they felt when they got up there, we just had ambassadors saying to go to a certain school.”
“It felt like the event was scripted,” McCarroll said, “I know that I wanted kids to feel like I went there, getting an actual perspective of I actually lived there instead of the whole spiel trying to get you to go.”
“It was a really good idea, I’ve had the opportunity to do a lot in college to talk to high schoolers and even middle schoolers and so It’s something that I like,” Daniella Gorreno, a Helix graduate of 2013 who now attends Santa Cruz had said, “Helix instilled that in me to want to go to college, if college is the right path for someone then they should do everything to ask about it and helix helped people go and this community thrive.”
“It gives current students, especially freshmen and sophomores, an opportunity to think more about going to college than they did before,”said Singer, “For seniors it gives them a really good opportunity to learn about specific campuses from a student perspective, and whether they’ll fit in or not,” she said.
Singer mentioned how, “Some students are too focused on ‘Do they have my major?’ or ‘Is it a good school?’’ While speaking, she air quoted the words because, to her, “what [makes] a good school?” is what students focus on.
Singer would prefer the students to know what the college students do for fun, what living on campus is like, and, most importantly, are people nice?
To her, ‘that’s only things you can learn from students not reading online or school to an admissions officer,” and it’s important to know what the students think.
Bojoquez thanked everyone who came, and “hopes that they learned something useful.” As far as how the senior project aspect went and said he “gives this project a really high grade.”