Brandi Hinkle, communications coordinator for the Department of Higher Education, speaks to students at Pine Bluff High School during the press conference Tuesday to kick off Say Go College week, which encourages students to look into continuing their education after high school. (Special to the Commercial/William Harvey)
Members of the senior class at Pine Bluff High School were encouraged to go on to college after graduation during a press conference Tuesday morning held as part of the Say Go College Week sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
The event, held in the high school library, featured a presentation by ADHE communications coordinator Brandi Hinkle as well as comments from superintendent Linda Watson, principal Michael Nellums, and Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.
“It’s never too early or too late to think about going to college,” Hinkle said to the students. “There are a lot more funding options now than there used to be. We have state scholarships, federal grants as well as other types of scholarships. The deadline for all state aid programs is June 1.”
Hinkle told the students that it is normal to feel apprehensive about what the future holds upon leaving high school.
“Going on to college not only impacts your own life but also the lives of the children that you have,” Hinkle said. “You want to have a job that is actually a career so that you can do the things that you want to do and not just the things that you have to do. Going on to earn a higher education is the way to achieve that.”
Watson talked about the need for high school graduates to pursue a college degree to be competitive in the job market.
“I encouraged our students to go to college,” Watson said Tuesday afternoon. “I told them that they are going to need more than a high school education to make a decent living. I said that the world is becoming more high-tech and that they will not be able to meet those standards without a college education.”
Schedule of events
Activities for the remainder of Say Go College Week at Pine Bluff High School include:
• Wednesday: “Future School Spirit Day.” Seniors can wear T-shirts or sweatshirts bearing the logo of the college or university they plan to attend.
• Thursday: “Business and Professional Day,” A college and career fair will be held in McFadden Gym from 8 a.m. to noon. Students will be allowed to wear business/professional attire and meet with area college, business, industry and civic representatives to discuss and showcase careers. A component for parents will be provided by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Adult Education Center.
• Friday - A “Go College” rally will be held in McFadden Gym at 8:50a.m. with the student body, band, cheerleaders, the UAPB Vesper Choir, and motivational speaker Volney ‘VP’ Parker of Little Rock.
All activities lead up to “College Goal Sunday, March 10th”, a one-day, statewide event created to help students and parents complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) and the Arkansas Universal Scholarship application. Visit www.arcollegegoalsunday.org for the nearest location and more information.