Overflow Crowd Floods District for 1st Annual College Fair & Expo E-mail
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Written by Tony Aiello   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 20:36

Norwalk~Hundreds of students and parents descended on the Norwalk-La Mirada School District headquarters as the school district hosted the 1st Annual NLMUSD College Expo Day 2012 this last Thursday.

The district-the 15th largest in California-welcomed representatives from colleges and universities from all over Southern California and beyond, to interact with students and parents, hand out brochures and other literature containing important information and answer questions they might have.

Each representative had an information table in which parents and students were able to discuss the requirements to attend the college or university.

Also, topical workshops were presented during two session times. In Session 1, Tiana Otabuah (UCI) presented a workshop on “College 101”; Kaplan Test Prep presented “SAT Test Prep”; UCLA presented “Tips on Writing a Personal Statement”; and Cypress College presented a workshop on “Financial Aid”.

During Session 2, Otabuah presented a workshop on “What Juniors Need to Know”; Cerritos College presented “Community College and Transferring”; CSUF presented a workshop on “Early Outreach Program (UOP)”; and Cypress College presented a second workshop on “Financial Aid”.

Representatives from the City of Norwalk, City of La Mirada, PTA, and ROP were also present at the community event to talk about their services.

The occasion featured a welcome greeting from Superintendent Dr. Ruth Perez and a special message

Students and parents pack a classroom to listen to a representative from UCLA give tips on writing a personal statement for college.

from Congresswoman Linda Sanchez.

The idea was born when middle and high school counselors of the school district, at one of their monthly meetings, were discussing ways to revamp a district college handbook. In the past, the district’s high schools and middle schools held their own college information nights. The counselors decided to have an event for all the schools

Soon, the district counselor team of Irene Rifilato (Norwalk High School), David Hallum (La Mirada High School), Candida Hernandez (Los Coyotes Middle School) and Jenny Amaya (Waite Middle School) were chosen by the other counselors to organize the new expo.

The team received full support from district officials, including from the Educational Services office-Angela Lenhart (Secretary) and Dr. Albert Clegg (Director K12 Instructional Support Services).

Students and parents were generally pleased to have a “one-stop” event to obtain college education information.

It wasn’t long after the 2 ½ hour affair started, that the team realized the event was a success, and discussions began, to provide a larger venue for next year’s offering.

Rifilato, staring out at the overflowing crowd told us they didn’t know what to expect at the first event, “We didn’t know what kind of turnout we would have, this is so exciting.”

She said the idea makes sense, “This is what we do (the counselors), we communicate with colleges, so let’s have it all in one spot.”

Amaya acknowledged that everyone has different options, but told us the message is about the importance of students continuing their education, “We want our kids going to college. Our motto is: it’s not a dream, it’s a plan.”



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