FALLBROOK – Potter Junior High School students recently took steps toward the goal of accessing college and 21st century careers.
On Feb. 28, more than 350 seventh grade students attended a college tour of California State University San Marcos. For many, it was their first time on a college campus, and the trip helped make the college dream a more tangible reality.
“It made me realize that working hard means I can achieve my dreams of going to college,” said Juan Manual Gomez.
“It was amazing. I got to see the food, the art museum, and classes full of students,” said Linda Bailon.
For the past two months, the Potter counseling department made presentations to students on what it takes to attend college, and did career inventories to help steer students toward majors and careers.
At the end of January, Potter had its annual career day themed, “Oh, the Places We’ll Go…Braves Begin with the End in Mind.” Keynote speaker and Fallbrook resident Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, president of Mira Costa College in Oceanside, provided students motivation by recounting his success story starting from humble beginnings in inner-city San Francisco.
In presentations and workshops by over 40 speakers, Potter students were exposed to a range of careers including a lawyer, judge, scientist, casino manager, mathematician, engineer, dentist, law enforcement, and firefighters.
“I liked the engineer in Mrs. Jones’ class. He talked about watching movies in your sleep with Google Glasses and how Ironman exo-skeletons can become a reality. He talked about the future,” said Nicholas Brown, an eighth grader.
Potter has made a school-wide college focus one of its tenets which has helped lead to its designation as a AVID-certified school. The AVID elective class focuses on building college ready habits, supporting rigorous study and critical thinking with the help of college tutors, and exposing students to colleges. This year, AVID students took a practice ACT college entrance exam and have taken field trips to Balboa Park as well as the University of San Diego.