The article below originally appeared in the Half Moon Bay Review and is being reprinted with permission.
Half Moon Bay High School hosted its first-ever community college fair on Friday, drawing curious upperclassmen who may not want to commit to getting a four-year degree right after getting their high school diploma.
The fair took place from 10 a.m. to noon in the multiuse room, where tables adorned with brochures and fliers were spread out throughout the room. Representatives from College of San Mateo, Cañada College and Skyline College were present, along with instructors from specific departments, such as cosmetology and fire technology at the College of San Mateo.
“To know what community colleges are around me,” said junior Yuriana Cabanillas as to why she came to the event. “Not everyone is going to have the money to go to a four-year college.”
The fact that not all students go directly to a four-year university, if they choose college at all, is not lost on Pamela Jones, who teaches X-ray technology at Cañada College and spearheaded the department’s booth at the fair.
“The most important benefit (of the fair) is you’re stimulating interest in continuing education and being acutely aware that to get a good job, you have to get a certificate,” Jones said. “I believe if you can get a foot in the door and have a good experience, you’ll be exposed to things you never considered.”
Senior Calvin Yeh-Tinetti said he is leaning toward enrolling at Cañada College or College of San Mateo after graduating high school and is interested in scientific fields of study.
“I wanted to learn more about community college and what I was getting into,” Yeh-Tinetti said. “I get to see what they have to offer.”
Jones added that she hoped the event instilled in Cougars the idea of continuing their education in some capacity after high school.
“Most of what I talk to students about is ‘Go to school,’” Jones said. “If your mind changes, that’s wonderful, but you still have to do your general education. You’re not going to be marketable unless you have some piece of paper.”
Half Moon Bay High School Principal Allison Silvestri said the school is already looking to expand the fair next year.