LTCC helps students set sights high |

LTCC helps students set sights high

Axie Navas

High school students will gather in Tori Kuwahara’s room in South Tahoe High School four days per week during lunch and after school to learn about getting into college and the skills they’ll need to take them there.

The sessions are part of the Lake Tahoe Community College’s newest TRiO grant, Upward Bound. The college, which now has funding for three of the eight federal outreach and student services programs, began offering the Upward Bound tutoring periods last week for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Upward Bound represents a unique opportunity to strengthen the pathway to college for many in our community who have been underrepresented historically in higher education,” Kuwahara, the Upward Bound interim program coordinator and support specialist, wrote in an email.

Upward Bound targets low-income and first-generation high school students, and in addition to providing resources for college, the program offers career workshops, trips to four-year colleges and cultural enrichment activities. Participants can also take advantage of supplemental instruction on Saturdays and next summer at the community college, Kuwahara said.

Though the program is still young, Kuwahara said she’s already heard positive feedback from the participants and it’s the students and not the parents who are signing themselves up for Upward Bound.

“This tells me that they are recognizing that their future is in their hands and that everything they do now to prepare for higher education will pay off in the end,” she said.

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For one of Kuwahara’s students, the program offers a way not only to further her education but also to secure a strong career after college.

“Going to college means that I will have more opportunities, which my parents didn’t have. I want to get help getting into college so that I can get a good paying job,” STHS junior Samantha Prescott wrote in an email.

The program will receive $250,000 over the next five years to serve 60 first-generation high school students. That money plus another $450,00 from the two other TRiO grants – Student Support Services and Educational Talent Search – has allowed the college to hire nine new full-time academic support specialists and many more part-time tutors and mentors, LTCC Vice President of Academic Affairs and Students Services Thomas Greene said.

“(Upward Bound) is much more intensive and it dedicates more resources to each student. We want to create a seamless pathway from K-12 to college. So many of these students haven’t ever set foot on a four-year college. Some of them might not have even seen the community college,” Greene said.

In other news:

Bonfire commemorates end of fall sports

Whittell High school will light up a bonfire tonight at Zephyr Cove Park on Warrior Way near the library to celebrate the last home games of the season. Festivities start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

Teen dodge ball tournament

The eFit and Sports facility, located at 276 Kingsbury Grade, will host a teen dodge ball tournament on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 2:30-5:30 p.m. There will be a movie night and party after the tournament. RSVP before Oct. 25 to pay $10 per person. For more information, call eFit and Sports at 775-589-2270.

High school testing begins next week

The High School Proficiencies exams will begin on Monday, Oct. 29, at Whittell High School and continue until Friday, Nov. 2. The regular school schedule will be in session for all students during test week.

Study abroad

The Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club is accepting applications for the Youth Exchange Program that lets students spend a school year abroad in one of 20 countries. Applicants must be between 15 and 18 1/2 years old by their departure date, which will likely be in July 2013. The deadline to apply is Nov. 2. For more information contact Roy Stafford at 775-240-0060.

Community Leadership Fair

The South Tahoe High School AVID College Readiness system will host the first annual Community Leadership Fair on Thursday, Nov. 29. Representatives from local organizations will meet in the STHS student union from 12:30 p.m. until 2:40 p.m. to educate students about the services their group provides to the community. If you or your organization would like to participate, contact Frank Kovac at with your name, the organization’s name and a description of the services provided.

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