WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College will host about 200 high school counselors from area school districts as well as other local high school officials for its sixth annual Regional Counselor Breakfast at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18.

The event, which runs through 11:30 a.m., will be held in the Campus Inn at Rio Hondo College, 3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.

“Our annual breakfast gives high school counselors an intimate look at our incredible academics and student support programs along with an invaluable chance to discuss these options with our staff and to network with each other,” Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss said. “It’s also a real pleasure to meet with educators who are focused so intently on the success of their students.”

This year’s breakfast will focus on the College’s vast array of student service programs, which include financial aid support, transfer and honors, and the Center for Career and Re-Entry Services.
Breakout sessions will offer an in-depth look at Rio Hondo College’s academic programs – the business division, communications and languages, and public safety.

The trio represents some of the most popular programs at the College, including opportunities for students to participate on the highly successful Forensics Speech and Debate Team, attend the rigorous Police Academy, study for the new Homeland Security degree, or attend the wildland or urban fire academies, which consistently place a high number of students immediately into careers.

Counselors will also receive an update on student success measures and the expanded Rio Promise, which offers two years of free tuition to first-time college students. Rio Hondo College is the first community college in Los Angeles County to make such an offer.

Area counselors say the event provides them with invaluable information for their students.

“The Regional Counselor Breakfast is a great opportunity to interact with the amazing Rio Hondo College staff from all different departments and our counseling colleagues,” said counselor Diana Salazar, director of the New Horizons Department at Whittier High School.

“Rio Hondo has been so innovative over the last few years and it is great to learn about the new programs that are being put in place in order to help our students successfully transition into their post-secondary education. Whittier High School looks forward to the event every year.”

“Every year I attend the Rio Hondo Breakfast and I learn new information that will benefit my students as well as meeting and networking with people in different departments,” added Violetta Heilemann, college and career coordinator for South El Monte High School. “Talking to campus representatives gives me information that I could never have obtained from a pamphlet or PowerPoint.”

Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees President Gary Mendez said the breakfast is part of a dedicated outreach program.

“Our goal is to ensure the message of college availability, opportunity and affordability is provided to every student in the region,” Mendez said. “Rio Hondo College has the power to transform lives – we’ve seen this time and again. I’d like to personally thank the high school counselors who work so hard to ensure the success of their students.”