Students taking early look at college options

SAN BENITO — The students have options.

When it comes to where to go to college, the seniors at San Benito High School have more than plenty to choose from.

Yesterday, the senior class got an early start to familiarize themselves with colleges they will eventually be applying to for admission next fall.

“We hope they can make that personal connection with the different representatives from the universities,” said Sandra Ruiz, higher education coordinator. “That’s really important for us as well, as they go through the application process that they are connected to the colleges they are interested in.”

Throughout their senior year, school staff act like a resource helping them through the college application process.

During students’ senior year, Ruiz said staff offer closer guidance through the college application process.

She also conducts presentations and gives them college guidebooks.

“We are here to help guide them,” Ruiz said.

This year the school partnered with UTRGV AmeriCorps in an effort to assist the students with the process.

AmeriCorps paid members assist students with the college enrollment process, admissions, testing, academic advising, financial aid, orientation, registration, etc. The group facilitates parent workshops and serves as a liaison for students.

“We have two students who are mentoring our seniors,” Ruiz said. “They give them that extra mentorship. As college students, they have a unique perspective on the process.”

Yesterday, the college fair hosted representatives from more than 50 colleges around the state and beyond.

Last year, about 95 percent of the seniors enrolled in college or at least applied.

For those who choose not to apply to college, San Benito High School offers the option of the career and technical education program.

There, Ruiz said students can obtain different certifications to help them enter the workforce.

Seniors Dannett Trevino and her friend Alexia Garcia were checking out the Kingsville table.

Both have a couple colleges in mind they would like to attend but would like to study different subjects.

“I either want to go to UTSA or Kingsville,” Trevino said. “I want to be a physical therapist and study medicine.”

Both places are familiar to Trevino and she would be comfortable going to either school.

As a student in the medical assistant and medical office aid program, Trevino has been exposed to several aspects of her future field of study.

“By the end of the year, I should be a certified medical office assistant. I know that I can start working in a doctor’s office while at school,” she said. “I like to stay active and I like to help people. That’s why I want to be a physical therapist.”

On the other side of the career spectrum is where Garcia sits.

Schools she gravitated toward yesterday were Kingsville and Corpus. She plans to study criminal justice.

“I want to be a game warden,” Garcia said.

Garcia, an experienced and skilled hunter, said she wants to keep her fellow hunters in check. For her it’s also about mixing career and passion.

She is also thinking about joining the FBI.