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Posted December 16, 2014

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Polk Students Get Exclusive Tour of College Campus

The staff at CNM's South Valley campus volunteered during their winter break to give middle school students a glimpse into educational opportunities that lie ahead.

More than 140 eighth graders at Polk Middle School visited CNM’s South Valley campus on Dec. 12 to explore future educational opportunities that are both literally and figuratively not too far down the road.

“This taught me a lot of things I didn’t know,” said eighth grader Anna Rose Rodriguez, who was most interested in the early childhood education and the cosmetology presentations.

Volunteering their own time during winter break, CNM teachers and advisers helped students understand financial aid and introduced them to the wide variety of classes, degrees and certifications CNM offers including phlebotomy, cosmetology, vet tech, chemistry, early childhood multicultural education, medical laboratory technician, and many others.

Overall, it was an eye-opening experience for many of the students. Some had never ridden the city bus, which they took from school to the campus. Others didn’t know the extent of options for areas of study.

“I didn’t know about the dual credit before this,” said eighth grader Tiara Taylor who wants to go into chemistry. “I considered college before this, but I didn’t know CNM had this many options.”

Eighth grader Cesar Becerra said he didn’t think he liked writing, but he loved the English presentation, which had students create new products and write about them, because it allowed him to be creative and think of new technology.

It was also rewarding for the CNM employees who volunteered their own time. Albert Paredes said he wasn’t pushed to pursue higher education when he was younger. Because of his experience and because he attended Polk, he said he was better able to connect with the visiting students.

“I wish this was something that would have been done when I was young,” said Paredes, a CNM student who also works in the veterinary program. “It opens up their eyes to what’s coming.”

The most important thing the students learned was to write their own story by discovering what they are most interested in and pursuing it.

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