High school students experience college at Trinidad State

A Trinidad State student demonstrates welding to high school students at the annual Spring Fest event.

A Trinidad State student demonstrates welding to high school students at the annual Spring Fest event.

(TRINIDAD, COLORADO) More than 250 high school students visited Trinidad State on Thursday for Spring Fest, an annual prospective student event. Students rotated through various workshops around campus—including Music, Auto Technology, Massage, Cosmetology, Welding and several other departments—where they could “try out” a college program.

Hands-on learning activities ranged from acting as part of the Theatre presentation, analyzing fingerprints for Criminal Justice, shooting off bottle rockets with the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) department, listening to heartbeats and breathing in Nursing, driving a tractor in Heavy Equipment, and climbing an electrical pole with Line Tech. These activities allowed students to experience many unique programs offered at Trinidad State.

Stephanie Gonzales-Cook, a G.O.A.L. Academy student in Trinidad, said she most enjoyed the psychology presentation by Trinidad State Psychology Professor Sue Nesbitt. “She showed us an example of a polygraph test, and it was really cool to see someone lie and their heartbeat go up,” Gonzales-Cook said. “She told us about how they study the human brain and how things work inside there and how people think. I think that’s really fun and interesting.” Gonzales-Cook plans to attend Trinidad State in the fall to study psychology.

Eric Lopez from Trinidad High School went to a Welding workshop and said he was surprised to learn “how much money you can make out of it.”

“I applied for it already,” Lopez said of his future plans to attend Trinidad State for Welding.

In addition to learning about various academic programs, students also attended a career expo where they met with local businesses to discuss future career or educational opportunities. More than 20 businesses participated in the event, including San Isabel Electric, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Marines, Mt. Carmel Health and Wellness, Power Credit Union, and Trinidad State departments—such as Student Life—among other businesses. Many of the exhibitors featured interactive activities, including the Trinidad State Art booth where students had portraits drawn by current art students.

All high school students who participated in Spring Fest received a free Trinidad State t-shirt, and attending high school seniors will get a $500 Spring Fest scholarship to apply toward tuition at Trinidad State.

In addition to the Spring Fest scholarship, 2014 Colorado high school graduates are eligible for a three-credit hour, tuition only scholarship for summer classes at Trinidad State. The summer scholarship is provided through the Trinidad State Educational Foundation, and is also available for continuing Trinidad State students as a buy one, get one scholarship for up to three credit hours of in-state tuition. With a limited number of scholarships available, interested students are encouraged to apply by calling the Educational Foundation at 846-5649.

Many high school students from Trinidad, Raton, Primero and Hoehne attended Spring Fest, in addition to students from G.O.A.L. Academy, Holy Trinity Academy, Aguilar, La Veta, Manzanola, Swink, Elizabeth, Florence, Legacy, Monarch, Prairie View, Rye, Socorro and Pueblo.

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