Weatherford College’s Talent Search program took 28 Jacksboro High School students on an overnight field trip June 17-19 allowing them to explore the University of Texas, Texas State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
This was the first time the WC’s Talent Search program embarked on an overnight trip.
“College field trips are impactful, motivating, inspiring and they truly make a difference for our students,” said Dr. Deborah Jogie Cregger, WC’s Talent Search director. “Additionally, these field trips provide students with diverse cultural and educational exposure within a safety net.”
Talent Search is a federally-funded TRIO program that provides college access program to rural students. The Talent Search staff at WC helps students in 16 area schools prepare for and enroll in any post-secondary educational institution.
“This trip was good for me because it allowed for me to see what I liked and what I didn’t like about colleges,” Taylor Gunter said. “It was nice to get out of Jacksboro and see amazing colleges.”
Most Talent Search students are first generation college students, which can lead to intimidation when exploring a university campus. During the field trip, students toured each university and received information on admissions, careers, financial aid, support programs, housing, social life and traditions.
“I am a first generation college student and I really don’t know anything about college,” Yahir Salas said. “With the help of Talent Search I got to see new places and know more about what I want to study.”
In addition to touring the universities, students visited the state capitol, the Alamo, an art museum and the San Antonio Riverwalk.
Jacksboro High School teacher Hillary Deffebach attended the trip and commented on the opportunities extended to her students.
“For some of the students from our rural community, this was their first time to attend a college tour,” she said. “I think it’s important for these young adults to realize there are many options for your future.”
It was also several of the students’ first time visiting the state capitol or traveling a significant distance from home.
“I’m glad that I came to this trip because I’ve never been ‘far’ from home, and I loved everything,” Edwin Avalos said.
Christie Grisham, a parent of a WC Talent Search student, said the trip laid a great foundation for her child.
“As a parent, I want to give my child the most opportunities, education, and experience while shaping her into a strong and productive individual,” she said. “The itinerary, staff, tours and overall attitude opened new doors and aspiration for a successful future.”