Junior Higher Education Week Gets Students Prepared, Motivated, and Excited for College


Director of Media

Junior HEW

The morning of March 12 was more than an excuse for juniors to get out of 1st period; it was an experience which brought valuable information, encouraging inspiration, and undeniable excitement to the class of 2015, who are looking onward to the college search and admissions process. To begin, Britt Ortiz, director of the EAOP (Early Academic Outreach Program) at UCSB, spoke to all juniors at San Marcos on a host of topics, including the correlation between the amount of education one completes and one’s salary, the opportunities that are opened up to one who pursues higher education, the California higher education system and what it looks for, and financial aid options. He ended by saying he was the first generation of his family to attend college, while also being the first to get kicked out because of grades, finally earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree at UCSB once he regained his motivation at SBCC here in his hometown (we all forgave him for telling us he was a Charger in high school). He explained, college isn’t about whether you can or you can’t, it’s about whether you will or you won’t.

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Following Mr. Ortiz’s advice, the juniors walked up to the gym to immerse themselves in a full flown college fair, featuring schools such as the University of Oregon, Johnson and Wales, the University of Alabama, the New School in San Diego, FIDM, Berkeley, and UCSB, among many other institutions. In addition, there were organizations such as the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, (college planning one), and a group of students from UCSB offering their knowledge, to give us further information about getting into college.

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The 11th grade class would like to say thank you to all of the colleges and organizations that came to represent at the college fair, to Britt Ortiz for offering insight into the daunting domain of the college admissions process, and to Mr. Castellanos, one of our San Marcos counselors, for organizing this event. I was sitting next to Mr. Castellanos during Mr. Ortiz’s presentation, and he leaned over to me and said, “You know, they don’t do this everywhere. But I looked at [Higher Education Week] and said ‘I want this for my juniors.’”

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