Alumni share stories and advice at Rock Canyon's Post-Grad Night
HIGHLANDS RANCH-- It started with a keynote presentation in the auditorium from Senior Dean of Admissions at Colorado College, Cesar Cervantes, about the journey to and through college. From there, junior and senior Jaguars, accompanied by their parents, made their way through the halls of Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) to see what else they could learn about the college process.
“This is our Post-Grad night,” Said RCHS Principal Andy Abner. “Our students that are about to start the college application processes are here to get a bit of a head start.”
In several rooms throughout the school, students and parents could find a myriad of resources, from test prep to information about the index scores colleges are looking for, to tips on how to fill out applications. And in the Library, current college-seeking Jaguars could learn directly from former Rock Canyon students who’ve already made the journey through college campuses throughout the country in what Principal Abner called a Post-grad panel.
“We have students doing all kinds of great things out there, and it’s nice to bring them back and show our current students what they can be doing after they graduate,” Abner said.
On the five-member panel sat graduates from spanning Rock Canyon’s brief but rich history. From Taylor Temby- a member of the very first RCHS graduating class of 2007 and current sports reporter for Denver’s 9News, to Ryan Williams, a 2014 graduate currently in his third year at UCLA’s film school.
Everyone on the panel told their stories during the Q & A, with one familiar theme running throughout the night.
“It’s unbelievable the experience and the access to resources that kids get here,” says Temby. “They can get a great foot in the door to just about anything they want to get into.”
Williams echoes that idea, saying he keeps up with a lot of the media programs that are available to students at Rock Canyon.
“I see pictures of the film festival that [RCHS media teacher Jim] McClurg puts on every year, and it’s just so professional,” Williams says. “It makes me wish I had done more of it while I was here, because some of the product they put out is as good or better than things I see even out of UCLA.”
Temby did take advantage of the media offerings at the school. She originally enrolled at Colorado University in Boulder to pursue a medical degree, but remembering how much fun she had at Rock Canyon’s television program RCTV her junior year, began taking some journalism classes that changed the course of her career.
“I just thought it was a lot of fun, and it reminded me of the great times I had in the program at [Rock Canyon], and before you knew it I was changing the major,” says Temby.
Which leads to Temby’s most important advice for the young students- to take their time deciding what their future may hold.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure on people to have their minds made up when they go to college- that’s absolutely not the case,” Temby said. “Go in, take a bunch of classes, and find your passion. Don’t pigeonhole yourself into something you may be unhappy with at some point.”
Principal Abner agrees, stating that he enjoys being a part of the beginning of that process.
“Really proud to be here at Rock Canyon, especially tonight, as we kind of begin the end,” Abner said. “These juniors and seniors should look forward to all the great things they’re going to be doing over the next 2 years.”