EL MONTE – South El Monte High School was bustling Sept. 17 with hundreds of students and their parents who met with representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities during the El Monte Union High School District’s annual College Night and Resource Fair.

Students received information on programs, activities, entrance requirements and degrees offered by the two- and four-year universities that participated, including UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal Poly Pomona, University of La Verne, Academy of Art University, Pasadena City College and Rio Hondo College. Representatives from three military branches were also on site.

Mountain View High School junior Angel Jimenez is undecided about where he will apply and is considering several possible majors, including psychology or criminal law. For Jimenez, College Night was an opportunity to acquire enough information about higher education to make an informed choice.

“I’m here to look at UC schools. Everybody talks about them, but I want to see if they are as good as everyone says,” Jimenez said. “The college I choose will depend on whether they show interest in me and I have a chance to visit the campus.”

Emily Barjal, a freshman at South El Monte High School, is a member of the school’s inaugural Early College Academy, which provides students with the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and up to two years of transferable college credits through a partnership with Rio Hondo College.

Barjal said she likes the idea of getting a jumpstart on her degree and welcomes the opportunity to research local colleges until she finds one that fits her needs.

“I want a school that is close to home,” said Barjal, an Achievement Via Individual Determination (AVID) student who is interested in science and biology. “The Early College Academy is teaching me that you need to make long-term and short-term goals and come up with a plan to achieve them. College Night is a good first step.”

The resource fair portion of the event featured representatives from student support services such as TRIO Upward Bound, Cal-SOAP, Foothill Family Services, El Monte/Rosemead Adult School and career technical education programs, and the El Monte Promise Foundation. Students and parents participated in the college-preparedness workshops FAFSA 101, Dream ACT 101, Systems of Higher Ed, and Senior Timeline.

“On College Night, you can feel the excitement in the air as students really begin to see the possibilities of their future in higher education,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Talking to the reps and filling out registration cards is a huge step forward in their lives. This event would not be possible without the hard work and diligence of our career counselors, who did a tremendous job in coordinating another successful College Night.”


092618_EMUHSD_COLLEGEFAIR1: El Monte Union High School District held its annual College Night and Resource Fair on Sept. 17 at South El Monte High School, exposing students and their parents to a variety of higher education options.

092618_EMUHSD_COLLEGEFAIR2: El Monte Union High School District students speak to college representatives to discuss the road to college during the District’s annual College Night and Resource Fair on Sept. 17.