Youth get taste of college life during day-long visit

The “College Student for a Day” program Wednesday hosted its highest number of participants with 90 high school students attending.Shelley Marshall, a coordinator for the program, said “College Student for a Day” is run in coordination with the other high school program called Communities in Schools.

Members of the TCU Multi-Cultural Greek Council and the Office of Community Outreach and Service Learning at TCU hosted the program.

TCU students were paired with the high school students who took them on tours of academic buildings, the University Recreation Center, the bookstore, dining spots on campus and some of the on-campus living facilities.

“CIS places social workers in high schools around the DFW area and they counsel and find certain students whom they feel might not have the chance to attend college in the future,” Marshall said. “They are students who might not even think college is a possibility or may not know much about the acceptance process.”

This year, TCU hosted students from 10 different high schools in the area.

“It is a great program to let these students see that they really can have the chance to change their lives,” Marshall said. “They even get to go to classes with the TCU students and have lunch on campus.”

Amy Schwalm, a senior psychology major, took two students on a campus tour Wednesday and also to some of her classes.

“They went to graduate statistics and comparative psychology with me,” Schwalm said. “I think the program is a great idea for teens to be exposed to the responsibilities of college life at an early age.”

Paloma Alvarez, a high school senior at Carter Riverside, said she enjoyed the TCU campus and is interested in attending school here.

“I would like to eventually study law, so I really enjoyed seeing the business school which could be something I consider before law school,” Alvarez said. “I also liked the library and being able to see all the students working; it was an interesting experience.”

Dario Aguilar, a senior from Polytechnic High School, said he really enjoyed being around the college students.

“My favorite part was the Rec Center,” Aguilar said. “The weight room is really nice.”

Marshall said TCU is the only college campus in the area that actually hosts an organized all-day event for the high school students, but in the future, CIS is hoping to gain more visits with other college campuses.

“The program was designed and modeled from this campus,” Marshall said. “TCU has always been really great with giving back to the community, and making a difference in these students’ lives shows just how much the university cares.