HOUSTON – Oct. 17, 2018 – Zahra Rizvi is still more than two years away from finishing high school, but that didn’t stop the Wunsche sophomore from coming out to attend Spring ISD’s 2018 College Night, held Oct. 11 on the Carl Wunsche Sr. High School campus. For Rizvi and her fellow students, it was an opportunity to learn more about the options available to them after graduation.
“It was a good experience,” Rizvi said, “learning about the different colleges – just to see what’s out there for my future. There’s a lot of options to choose from.”
Rizvi and her friends were joined by hundreds of high school students from across the district, many of whom came to the event with friends and family members. Around the crowded exhibition hall, parents could be heard asking questions alongside their children, making connections with college representatives while gathering information on financial aid, internships and job placement rates, possible majors and campus life.
Among the more than 125 college recruiters out for the event were a few familiar faces, including Kimberly Berry, who attended Wunsche and graduated from Spring High School in 2012. A 2016 Texas A&M graduate, Berry is now a Corps Recruiter for Texas A&M and said she enjoys getting the chance to return to her old campus and talk with current Spring ISD high school students.
“It’s pretty cool because this is my old high school,” Berry said, “so it’s great to come back and give back to these kids by telling them about the opportunities they have to come to the university or to see what kind of career paths are open to them.”
Berry also had some general advice for those attending events like the one at Wunsche, or for any students considering their college options.
“What we’re looking for are students who are motivated,” Berry said. “We’re looking for tenacious kids who really want this. So, when you get to those tables, ask those good questions. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed. Ask the questions that are pressing your heart, so we can get to the bottom and make sure you’re successful going to school and beyond.”
Also on hand to help make sure everything went smoothly was Spring ISD’s coordinator of college and career readiness, Carlos Gonzalez, who praised Wunsche for their hosting of the event and the counseling staff at all the district’s high schools for helping get the word out.
“This is a fantastic turnout,” Gonzalez said. “It’s great to see so many of our high school students. The outreach that our academic counselors are doing – to expand that ‘college knowledge’ among the student body – is working. You can see that it’s working.”
Gonzales added that he was glad to welcome representatives not just from Texas schools, but from colleges and universities all over the region and the country.
“One of my goals,” Gonzalez said, “is for these students to be able to be exposed to schools outside of the state of Texas, so they can see what’s out there. Because they’re not always going to be able to get the most money in scholarships and grants staying in the state. Sometimes you can get a full ride by going to a smaller school in the Northeast or out on the Pacific Coast. It’s letting the students know what’s out there – all the possibilities that might be available to them – and then helping them through the process.”
Spring ISD Board of Trustees President Rhonda Newhouse was also at Wunsche for the event, sharing with students about her undergraduate alma mater, Prairie View A&M, and encouraging them to stay proactive throughout their college search.
“You know, I was talking to several students earlier,” Newhouse said, “and we have juniors and seniors here, but we have some freshmen and sophomore students here as well. That tells us that our students are dedicated, interested, looking forward to going to college. They’re researching it early, which they should do.”
Newhouse added that starting early was key – exposing students to information about college and vocational pathways before they ever enter high school, thus allowing them to make the best, most informed choices.
“We want a culture in Spring ISD that indicates that our students – all of our students – can be successful,” Newhouse said.