By Alejandro Dominguez Herald Writer
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; firstname.lastname@example.org.