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Promoting Higher Education At RHS
The leadership class made signs that were placed all around the Riverbank High School campus to promote College Awareness month. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS


In celebration of College Awareness Month, staff members at Riverbank High School created some activities to get the conversation started. On Friday, Feb. 5 during lunch, students had the chance to meet with some Bruin alumni that have pursued higher education following their high school careers.

Leadership Advisor, Gina Tonarelli and the leadership class spent some time creating signs promoting college, which were placed throughout the school in hopes that students would start thinking about attending a college or university.

“We have about ten alumni students who are currently enrolled or have already graduated from some form of higher education who will be coming back to the school for a Bruin Alumni Social,” said Tonarelli. “Our goal is to get students talking about college and the idea of higher education.”

Along with the signs that the leadership students created, they also had a table set up where they offered a game and prizes to interested students. The students would pick a stick out of a bag that had a university on it and then the student would guess the school’s mascot. Right or wrong, students were given a choice of candy or chips for their participation.

According to Tonarelli, students were a bit shy at first; however, after some encouragement they began having conversations with the alum.

2011 RHS graduate Monica Perez is currently attending Sacramento State majoring in construction management. Perez attended the college awareness festivities at RHS to share information with current students about the University.

“It’s a great campus,” added Perez. “It really is a great school.”

Alumni Nestor Montoya graduated from RHS in 2013 was also on hand to talk to students about Sac State, where is currently enrolled for mechanical engineering.

“It is a big step honestly,” said Montoya. “College is all about self-motivation.”

Most recent RHS graduate, Yulisa Olivares (Class of 2015) is attending Chico State with a major in social work and a minor in Spanish. Olivares was on hand to answer questions and share her new experience with interested students.

“I was very pleased with the turnout we received from the alum and them offering to come and assist us with college awareness,” added Nancy Garcia, English Language Arts Teacher and Riverbank Unified AVID Director. “We as a staff are working towards increasing college awareness and helping more students get to college. The more opportunities/activities we can provide students to help with this, the better for our students.”