Fall Fest Spotlights College Opportunities for Sheldon ISD


Stephanie Piña /San Jacinto Times

Potential North campus students scale the rock climbing wall at C.E. King Middle School while learning about educational options.

Students from across Sheldon Independent School District (ISD) came together Oct. 28 at C.E King Middle School to learn about college opportunities at San Jacinto College North Campus’s annual Fall Fest.

Lauren Parish, a Shared Educational Planner housed at both San Jac and C.E. King High School, said this is the third year Educational Planning and Counseling (EPC) at North campus hosted the Fest.

“The whole purpose of the event is to bring our college out to the community,” Parish said, “we want to bring our college departments out here to the community so they can actually see San Jac where they are, instead of asking them to come to us.”

Furthermore, the event changes each time to address different area students.

“Every school district that feeds into North campus – our goal is to individually reach out to each one. So we’ve done Galena Park. We’ve done Channelview. Now, we’re in Sheldon. So next year, it will probably be at North Shore” Parish said, “We just want the community to know that we are here.”

Fall Fest targets high school students, graduating seniors and aims to get parents involved as well.

“We have a lot of initiatives as far as continuing education,” Parish added. “We offer ESL classes.”

Several North campus programs participated including the Nursing Program, Medical Assisting, Culinary Arts, Dual Credit, First Year Experience, and Gators Baseball, among others.

Fall Fest serves as an icebreaker between Sheldon ISD and the College helping students learn about potential opportunities.

“I think it benefits our students, number one, because they have a chance to talk to our department on a smaller scale; and then it benefits the community because …we are coming on their stomping ground and in their comfort zone, instead of asking them to come to us,” Parish said.

In addition, scholarship drawings were held to help students in the Sheldon community.

“It’s for seniors here from King High School because it’s the only high school that serves this (community),” Parish said. “They’ll also be eligible for raffle prizes.”

Volunteer Danira Garcia said she finds it rewarding to see students wanting to pursue higher education.

“I see myself at that point,” Garcia said, “whenever I was looking into colleges and different career choices; and all the programs that were available to me. So when I see the students come up and ask, it makes me feel good. They’re looking into going to school.”

Meanwhile, after meetings with the Sheldon ISD administrators, principles with both King Middle School and High School, and the shared planner for Early College High School, Parish said she was very pleased with the outcome.

“I feel good,” Parish said. “I mean we put a lot of sweat equity in this and I hope the community, the students, the parents, and everybody just enjoys it as much as we enjoy it.”