The college dream is a step closer to reality for some local families who took full advantage of District 50’s first ever college tour for first generation, low-income families. About a hundred community members, parents and students spent last Friday on the campus of the Community College of Denver, Metro State and University of Colorado at Denver.
“It was a chance to inform them of all of their opportunities and know that the doors are open for them,” said Alice Collins, Director of English Language Development at Adams 50.
The visit was designed to help families who have never had a member go on to post-secondary education realize that it is achievable. “This is a great family activity because they realize that going on with their education is not an abstract idea,” said Nancy Hernandez, Community and Education Facilitator for District 50. “It was so exciting for everyone involved.”
The group teamed up with students and staff on the campus who answered questions about what it takes to extend their education beyond high school and addressed practical issues like how to pay for higher education and what to do if students are undocumented. Work sessions were held in both English and Spanish.
“For many families, this is all brand new to them,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez believes it’s never too early to start talking about all of the options available. In fact, she says one mother brought a child from elementary, middle school and high school to the tour.
In addition to the college tour, The Community and Education Specialists Team also hosted an English/Spanish College Night on December 4th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Westminster High School. Like the college tour, families can learn about many of their college options.
Plans are already underway for a visit in April to either the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley or Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Organizers hope to double the number of participants.