Throughout the year, JAG programs engage in various events and activities that prepare students for their personal and professional goals after high school. One of these activities includes college and vocational training tours. These tours provide students with the information they need to stay on track for the upcoming application deadlines and to inform their post-secondary options.
Several JAG programs started visiting campuses across the state in August. In the past few weeks, West Point visited Arizona State University, Coolidge visited Grand Canyon University, and Paradise Valley visited University of Arizona. Copper Canyon JAG had the opportunity to tour Northern Arizona University (NAU) on August 31st.
“The trip there was really fun being with all of our classmates. Once we got there, we felt very welcomed,” Copper Canyon JAG Co-President Magali Carrillo said. “There was a cool presentation with information about the school and the programs that they have to offer. It was also interesting to hear the history behind NAU and where it was built and how everything came to be.”
For Copper Canyon JAG Co-President Frida Medrano, the tour was valuable to her not only because as of now she is planning on applying to NAU, but she also thought that gaining the perspective of a student there could help her be prepared for the transition from high school to college.
“It’s not the same being told what it’s going to be like, rather than being told what it’s really like from a student’s perspective. Our tour was given to us by one of the students at NAU – they gave us a lot of insight on what it was like, what their classes were like, what their schedules looked like, how they felt at the beginning of their transition, things that they found difficult and things they found not so difficult, their challenges… So I think we just got a closer look into what it is actually like.”
Carrillo isn’t planning on attending NAU, but she found that the visit gave her a perspective on admissions and financial aid that will help her apply to ASU and U of Arizona.
“I learned that there are a lot of things they can do to help you with financial aid, your grades in general, and the admissions process. I know it can be difficult for first-generation students that didn’t have a mentor or someone that could guide them through getting into college. I, myself, am first-generation, so it’s a great opportunity to go since my family wasn’t able to. Just getting that help is very much needed.”
Aside from learning more about admissions, student life, and the university itself, Carrillo and Medrano found a few other things that stood out to them in informing their choices for university.
Medrano was interested in the city of Flagstaff: “I think one of the things that stood out to me is that it is a nocturnal city, meaning that they don’t have a lot of light, because we can see the stars clearly at night. I thought that was very cool. Also Flagstaff has one of the largest tree organisms where they all connect to each other through roots. I think that is really cool too.”
The demands of coursework and time management as a college student interested Carrillo, along with learning about how students cope with moving away from home for college.
“Most of the students there are from a different state or they are just far away from home. They told us that at first it is hard to be away from your family and be fully responsible for yourself. They said there are ways to help with that, like if you’re homesick, you can make new friends, go out, spend time with other people, and it will just make you forget that you’re not home – it will help you feel more comfortable being there.”
As first-year JAG students and high school seniors, Carrillo and Medrano are looking forward to many more field trips, the upcoming High School Leadership Development Conference, and the 2023 Career Development Conference.
Their JAG experience so far, both can agree, has been beneficial for their final year in high school.
“What I most like about being in JAG is the sense of community,” Medrano shared. “Our coordinator makes everyone feel very welcomed everyday. If you’re having a bad day, JAG is the one hour you can look forward to. You know you will have a good time and that it will brighten up your day.”
“It’s not a class you dread going to,” Carrillo added. “I look forward to it everyday….It’s a program where we are doing things that are benefitting us for college.”
Interested in volunteering as a guest speaker for one of our many JAG programs across the state? Sign up HERE for a volunteer orientation to learn more.