Program Steps BHHS Seniors Through College Applicaton Process header image

Program steps BHHS seniors through college application process
, Curry Coastal Pilot, 11.16.13, by Don Iler

Justin Goodwin, a senior at Brookings-Harbor High School, is one step closer to attending college, after he filled out three college applications on Tuesday.

Goodwin, who applied to Southwestern Oregon Community College, Oregon State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, finished his applications with some help during College Application Week at BHHS. The program, in its second year at BHHS, encourages students to apply to college by providing them with help and resources for a task that can be quite daunting, especially for those who have family members who never attended.

    “I didn’t really know or consider it until my girlfriend encouraged me to take college more seriously and to make a plan,” Goodwin said.

      Goodwin, who would be the first in his family to attend college, wants to study physical therapy. He said the program helped provide some insight on where to apply to colleges and finishing the applications.

      “Some of (the applications) are very difficult,” said Peggy Goergen, a volunteer helped students with applications. “Some (students) aren’t even sure if they are going to go, but some of them turn in applications and realize college isn’t as scary as they think and they view it as an option.”

      So far 58 students at BHHS have signed up to come in and fill out college applications. Every student who comes into the BHHS Career Center for College Application Week fills out the application for SOCC, which is free and gives them an idea about the application process.

      Gerry Livingston, who works with Educational Talent Search, said last year Brookings was one of 10 schools in the state that piloted College Application Week. BHHS participates in GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), which is a statewide program that encourages lower income and first generation college students to attend college.

        “If you have an event like this, you have more kids apply,” said Val Cowan, Career Center coordinator at BHHS. “Some don’t have a computer or a parent at home, but they have our complete attention here.”

          Students receive help from staff or volunteers on anything from just filling out the forms or getting help editing a college essay.

          Pacific High School in Port Orford held its event on Nov. 6 and more than 80 percent of the seniors there submitted an application to a community college or university. Students at Gold Beach will work on applications on Wednesday and students at BHHS will have worked on them Tuesday through Thursday of this week. Cowan said that if students needed help working on their applications outside of this week, they could come into the career center to receive help.

          For Christina Munoz, a senior at BHHS, college application week is helping her get ahead.

            “The whole week is really good for working on them,” Munoz said. “It makes it hard to procrastinate when there are three days to work on them.”

              Munoz, who has a brother currently attending OSU, would be the second person in her family to attend college and is looking at quite a few options.

              “It’s helping me a lot,” Munoz said. “It’s giving me an idea about what I need to fill out and I can ask questions here. It’s helping get weight off of my shoulders.”

              Copyright 2013, Curry Coastal Pilot