• Pre-Collegiate Program takes aim at western Garfield schools

    Posted August 13, 2012 by webdev

    Heather McGregor
    Post Independent
    Published August 13, 2012

    Roaring Fork High School graduate Ingrid Gomez says getting involved in the Pre-Collegiate Program back in seventh grade set her up for the success she is now achieving as a University of Colorado student.

    "They don't hold your hand, but they guide you there," said Gomez, a 2010 RFHS grad who will start her junior year at CU this fall. She is double-majoring in English and secondary education.

    Gomez and a group of University of Colorado officials visited the Post Independent on Friday to talk about the success of the Pre-Collegiate Program, and about new efforts to expand the program into western Garfield County.

    CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano said the program is aimed at helping students whose parents and grandparents didn't attend college learn how to prepare themselves academically to be first generation college students.

  • Pre-Collegiate Program puts kids on track for college success

    Posted November 13, 2011 by webdev

    Jim Noyes
    Post Independent
    Published Nov. 13, 2011

    In a country where roughly 25 percent of high school students drop out and never earn their diplomas, and only one-third of the graduates move on to higher education at the college level, the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District is particularly proud of the outcomes of its unique Pre-Collegiate Program.

    Virtually 100 percent of the grades 7-12 students enrolled in Pre-Collegiate as an optional, extra-curricular activity graduate from high school, and an amazing 97 percent have gone on to college.

    These results are particularly impressive given that the Pre-Collegiate Program targets first-generation students - those who would be the first in their families to attend college.

    Being a trailblazer is never easy, and these first-generation students are expected to overcome cultural, language and financial barriers and do so without the parental guidance that other students have.

    The Pre-Collegiate Program was the brainchild of state Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, when she sat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents in 2003. She witnessed a very disturbing high school dropout trend in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially among Hispanic students.

  • High school students get a taste of life in college

    Posted July 10, 2011 by webdev

    By Reynis Vazquez
    Post Independent
    Published July 10, 2011

    A group of 100 high school students from the Roaring Fork Valley and Summit County experienced life on a large college campus for two weeks at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    They participated in the Pre-Collegiate Program, which aims to give students - who will be the first generation in their family to graduate from college - the tools they need to succeed.

    The Roaring Fork School District/Summit Pre-Collegiate Summer Camp is funded almost entirely by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Families of the students pay only $40 for the entire stay.

    The two-week program, held June 19 to July 1, was structured to prepare students for the rigors of college. They attended math, science, English and ethnic studies classes in buildings across campus. Students stayed in a dormitory to better experience college life.

    "The classes were challenging in a good way because they were helping you get ready for college," said Ivan Sarabia, 16, of Glenwood Springs.

    "I learned how to handle more college-level work. I really liked that it was challenging and we got to meet new people and it was in a larger campus than at home." said Bryan Menjivar, 16, of Basalt.

    Leslie Emerson, director of the Roaring Fork School District Pre-Collegiate Program, and Molly Griffith, director of the Summit County Pre-Collegiate Program, accompanied the students for the duration of the program.

  • Pre-Collegiate Mentor Paula Stepp

    Posted June 20, 2009 by webdev

    Keevyn Scholl
    Post Independent
    June 20, 2009

    Family, friends, pets, sports, teaching, volunteering and life. This describes Paula Stepp in a few words. Stepp is a person who gives to others. She volunteers her time for the future education of our valley's youth.

    As the daughter of an Air Force officer, Stepp grew up all over the world. She was born in California, moved to France, spent some time in Japan, and ended up spending her high school career in Colorado, and eventually attending Humboldt State University in California.

  • Pre-Collegiate Mentor Thomas van Straaten

    Posted June 18, 2009 by webdev

    Erma Bombeck once said, "Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another." Thomas van Straaten, an avid volunteer, is one of those unselfish people who seem to better our world everyday with his love, patience, and compassion. Straaten is a newly named mentor to eighth grade students at Basalt Middle School. He has paired with the Pre-Collegiate Program (PCP) to educate, train, and prepare students for college and post-academic life.

    The Pre-Collegiate Program's main goal is to develop relationships, promote healthy decisions, and ultimately guide students down the collegiate path. "100% of the kids enrolled in the program, past and present, have gone to college, including two young ladies that were pregnant," Pre-Collegiate Director Adriana Ayala-Hire said. The PCP has thrived in this valley for more than three years and is offered to students whose parents have either not attended college or did not complete college.

  • Pre-Collegiate Mentor Mark Spidell

    Posted June 14, 2009 by webdev

    Drew Halsch
    Post Independent
    June 14, 2009

    After a long day at work, most people would go home to relax; however, for Mark Spidell, a commercial lending advisor at U.S. Bank, the day doesn't just revolve around his work. On top of his full work load, he is a pre-collegiate mentor for the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.

    Mark Spidell was born in Greeley, Colo., and moved throughout his childhood from Kansas City to a small town in Oklahoma. He finally moved back to Colorado to finish his high school career. He then moved on to the University of Denver, where he received his degree in business and marketing.

  • Cretti a 'guardian of education'

    Posted May 26, 2009 by webdev

    Connor McRaith
    Glenwood Springs Post Independent
    May 26, 2009

    College is an experience that many students around the world never have the opportunity to take a swing at. But here in the Roaring Fork Valley students have the chance to actually hit that ball when it comes and be prepared for the big leagues. This preparation takes place through a program called Pre-Collegiate.

  • Sprick an inspiration to college-bound students

    Posted May 11, 2009 by webdev

    Inspiration comes in many forms. Pre-Collegiate mentor Nova Sprick is one of them. Sprick is a yoga instructor, mentor and cancer survivor. Not many people can claim to be all three.

    Sprick has worked as a Pre-Collegiate mentor for only a little more than a year. She started last January, but has already made an impact on the seven girls with whom she works. None of the girls' mentors stuck around for long because the group was shy. This was perfect for Sprick because she was shy in high school so she relates to the girls.

    Sprick works with the girls every other week and then also individually in-between meetings. "My job as a mentor is to introduce (the girls) to wide varieties of jobs, and also to be another adult support outside the family," Sprick said.

  • Pre-collegiate mentor: Bob Johnson

    Posted May 8, 2009 by webdev

    Anna Holley
    Post Independent
    May 8, 2009

    This man is the epitome of human decency and selflessness. Characteristics that few possess. One man who possesses such qualities is Bob Johnson. Johnson is a Pre-Collegiate mentor for whom one good deed isn't enough.

    "He has really helped me to find my way through a sea of tests and paperwork...he helps me see what I need to get to where I want to go," a junior at GSHS Abril Loya said.