Alumni Night: Several recent district graduates attended SBISD Alumni Night for former students who are interested in post-secondary options. The special event was held on Aug. 16 at HCC-Spring Branch. Photographed, left to right, are Anthony Alavarado, volunteer Victoria Chen, Alberto Betancourt, Brenda Jimenez Lopez, and Phuong Ta, a Student Support Services summer intern. All students are May 2016 graduates of Spring Woods High School.
The special event was organized and supported by SBISD’s Student Support Service’s To and Through Department to help support alumni.
The department identified students likely to face road blocks for a variety of reasons. Two such reasons include first-generation college students and first-time registering students at the HCC-Spring Branch campus. Such young adults are often called “summer melt” students. Without an ambitious outreach, they might never enroll or pursue post-graduation training or education.
Volunteer Victoria Chen and Student Support Services summer intern Phuong Ta were two of several volunteers who were placed on site to assist those who attended the Aug. 16 session at HCC-Spring Branch. HCC was chosen as a centralized site for the districtwide gathering. Text message invitations were distributed to recent SBISD graduates before the event.
“I was interested and it helped me see what I can do to keep up with my goals,” reported Brenda Jimenez Lopez, a May Spring Woods High graduate. “Also, I came to get everything set up, and I got my application finished with the help of a great volunteer. He took me through every step until we got to the end.”
Anthony Alvarado, another Spring Woods High graduate, followed up on the text message. Both his parents want him to succeed and do well in life, he said.
“After not getting into the military, I believe HCC-Spring Branch is my next best move. I came to HCC and I met Victoria, who helped me make a checklist that made enrolling fun,” Alvarado said. He wasn’t Victoria’s only Alumni Night fan.
Alberto Betancourt needed help to finish applying and with his financial aid application. “When I got here, I met Victoria who helped me figure out what I needed to do. She gave me a ‘dope’ checklist! Now, I’m excited to be a college student,” said Betancourt, also a Class of 2016 grad.
The district’s college transition facilitator, Erika Delgado Scott, reports that volunteers were able to provide career advising and financial aid assistance, among other needs, in one-on-one student advising sessions. In addition, students were provided timely handouts and personal packets of test scores and key planning checklists.
“The students truly enjoyed their experience. They appreciated all the work they accomplished at this event, and we look forward to continuing to support our alumni,” Scott said. SBISD Alumni Night sessions are planned in the future.