The energy and enthusiasm could be heard from the more than 5,000 students from Madera and Fresno Counties high schools waiting patiently for the 2019 Fresno Area College Night to begin.
The event, which took place at the Fresno Convention Center New Exhibit Hall on Sept. 11, was open to students and their families from 32 school districts as far as Firebaugh to Coalinga to Reedley to learn about college-related topics including admissions, how to plan for college, financial aid and scholarships.
“It’s so important for our students to dream about their future, and tonight is what this is really about,” said Jim A. Yovino, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. “Most of our kids are first-generation college-bound students. We want them all to know that they all can have a college education if they want to.”
The event was coordinated by Fresno County Superintendent of Schools and sponsored by Community Care Health.
Yovino said the event was the place for students to “meet representatives from colleges all across the United States, to dream about how they actually change, not only our country but our world.”
Among those students were Daniela Lozano, Jonathan Íñiguez, y Paulina Marín, who are 17-year-old seniors at Riverdale High School.
Lozano wanted to learn more about UCLA and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, while Íñiguez wanted more information on UC Berkley, UC Davis, and Fresno State as well as UCLA and Marín, wanted information about USC as well as UCLA and Fresno State.
“I think they are very prestigious and hard to get into,” said Lozano, who would like to work with children but is still unsure about her major.
Lozano said one of the reasons she attended College Night was “to get more information about applying to colleges and scholarships.”
Marín wants to major in performing arts and work in musical theater.
“I love singing, I love performing,” said Marín, who was born in México, D.F. and move to the United States five years ago.
Íñiguez, who want to major in either medicine or engineering, said “I am here to find out more about what I need to get into the college that I want to get into. I just want to be sure that I know what I need so I can have a better chance.”
Íñiguez said Fresno State is one of his options because is a local university, but UCs options offer the experience of bigger universities.
Íñiguez, who would be the first one in his family to go to college, said he is interested in the surgical field of pediatrics, if he decided to follow medicine.
Students had more than 100 universities on site showcasing their academics programs and providing students with contact and admission information.
The event also included breakout sessions in English, Spanish and Hmong for parents.
Yovino said College Night was also to inspire the younger students- Freshman- to start thinking about “what you do in high school is really important because how you do academically now, really determines your future when you apply to colleges.
He said they also allow seventh and eight graders “because we want them to start thinking about college as well.”