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Published: Monday, January 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Middle school students get taste of college

  • Joseph Hebert (right) an 8th-grader from College Place Middle School, watches and listens Thursday morning as he and his classmates prepare to spend t...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Joseph Hebert (right) an 8th-grader from College Place Middle School, watches and listens Thursday morning as he and his classmates prepare to spend time with college students at Edmonds Community College.

  • Standing with her 8th grade classmate Catherine Alvarado, Liz Rodriguez (center, red jacket) scans the room that is filled with students like herself ...

    Standing with her 8th grade classmate Catherine Alvarado, Liz Rodriguez (center, red jacket) scans the room that is filled with students like herself from College Place Middle School, and students from Edmonds Community College.

  • Edmonds Community College student Tanisha McGruder (right center) captivates a half-dozen or more students from nearby College Place Middle School in ...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Edmonds Community College student Tanisha McGruder (right center) captivates a half-dozen or more students from nearby College Place Middle School in Lynnwood early Thursday as the younger students prepare to attend a college class, and spend time with college students they will be paired with from the Math Engineering and Science Achievement program and the Black Student Union.

  • Students and staff from College Place Middle School and Edmonds Community College pose for a photograph Thursday morning before pairing up and heading...

    Dan Bates / The Herald

    Students and staff from College Place Middle School and Edmonds Community College pose for a photograph Thursday morning before pairing up and heading to classes together at the college.

LYNNWOOD -- Thirteen-year old Justin Hebert thought it could be fun to be a college student for a day. So, he visited a pre-law class at Edmonds Community College on Thursday.
"I am thinking about what I will do after high school," said Justin, an eighth grader at College Place Middle School in Lynnwood.
Luis Guerrero, 13, also wanted to give it a go.
He is interested in a Psychology 101 class because he is thinking about a career in the field.
"I feel I can help people with their troubles," Luis said. "Before, I wanted to be a musician, but now I want to be a psychologist."
Justin and Luis were two of the 15 kids who are part of College Place's Students of Color program, which encourages minority students to pursue higher education. In total, 30 middle schoolers visited EdCC to learn about being a college student.
As part of the program, EdCC President Jean Hernandez, one of the organizers, has visited College Place to talk to the students.
Hernandez wanted to provide mentors to the middle school students. She said they are at the perfect age to think about higher education.
EdCC is paying for transportation, staff time and meals. The cost is a couple of hundred dollars, which she describes as "very minimal."
"It's a worthwhile investment," Hernandez said. "We are planting the seeds now."
Hernandez plans to visit the school again in early spring. She also plans to expand the outreach to students at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
There are 60 students in the Students of Color program, but there was only space for half of them. The students in the program are described as belonging to a racial minority and many of them are considered "at risk," which means they likely could not attend college because of financial or personal reasons, faculty adviser Jan Maxson said. Some of them don't have a relative who has finished college.
Eighth-grader Lizbeth Rodriguez, 14, wanted to see how college works. She is interested in studying psychology. She now knows she has to improve her B grades in math.
"My goal is to be better at math," Lizbeth said. "I want to be a doctor."
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.


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