MERRILLVILLE | Students at Merrillville High School celebrated College Go Week with counselors available to talk to students about college applications and business representatives on campus to talk about work ethics for success.
This year, the state-sponsored College Go Week began during homecoming in late September with colleges agreeing to waive the application fee for students, but most activities were held in mid-October, said Merrillville High School Assistant Principal Lorri Covaciu.
The activities included colleges from across the state making a pitch to high school students about what their respective schools offered. Every sophomore and junior also took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.
Seniors had an opportunity to hear a panel of business and community representatives talk about the importance of the WorkKeys test, future employment opportunities in Northwest Indiana and business ethics for success.
WorkKeys is a series of three tests, administered by ACT, which assess students' literacy skills related to reading for information, reading to locate information and applied math.
The panel included Joe Medellin, ArcellorMittal; Ryan Strode with an energy group; Claudia and George Vogrin, insurance; Eddie Melton, NIPSCO; Denise Dillard, Methodist Hospital; the Rev. David Neville; Mike Baird, retired banker; Ken Jania and Ryan Reithel, Lake County Indiana Electrical Training Center; and Andrew Kyres, First Financial Bank.
Seniors Alyssa Smith and Brandon Baldwin thought the panel gave great advice.
"After college I want to pursue a job in the medical field, so I found the advice that Mrs. Dillard gave was very helpful. Moreover, the quote from Rev. Neville, 'It’s not where you've been, it’s where you’re going,' gave me the inspiration to seek further success in the future," Smith said.
Added Baldwin, "What Rev. Neville said stuck with me the most. He said the past can’t mess up your future success, but you can if you don’t try to turn over a new leaf. I got sidetracked my junior year, but now I have turned over a new leaf."
Juan Rivera, a 2010 Merrillville High School grad and now a junior at Purdue University majoring in materials engineering, was among a group of alumni who fielded questions from students during the lunch hours about college and college life.