2019 DeSoto ISD College and Career Fair

DeSoto ISD College and Career Fair Prepares Students for the Future
Posted on 09/13/2019
Baylor University recruiter speaks with students and their parents at the DeSoto ISD College and Career Fair.   Photo Courtesy of Makenzie Mowoe, (DHS) Student

DeSoto, TX/DeSoto ISD – Nearly 600 parents and students packed DeSoto High School for the district’s College and Career Fair to visit more than 100 colleges, universities, military, fraternities, sororities and professional organizations eager to help connect students of all ages to their options after high school.

In addition to the fair, the evening included workshops on scholarships for student-athletes, the Dallas County Promise, and a panel that shared highlights of attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

DeSoto High School senior, Jalen Jackson, found the fair to be beneficial.

“This fair taught me about college readiness and the scholarships that could be awarded to me,” he said.

One unique twist on this college and career fair was that there was an intentional focus to  include elementary and middle school students and connect them to life after high school.

Myesha Daniels, a DeSoto ISD parent, brought eight children whose ages range from 8 to 15-years old and truly made this a family affair.

“The more that college is ingrained in them at a young age, the more it will be there when it is time to actually go to college” Daniels said. “I want my kids to have exposure to college and to get their degree while they are young and have successful lives.”

Although college is still a few years away, Eriona Finley, a sixth grader at DeSoto East Middle School attended the fair with her parent.

“I want to be a doctor or a nurse and by visiting the colleges I can see what good nursing programs I can attend,” she said.

Her parent, Shay Finley, also expressed her appreciation for the district including the younger students.

“My baby is only in the sixth grade and this is a way to get her in position and put her on the right path for the future,” she said. “This is real a good idea for the younger students.”

The DeSoto ISD’s To & Through Coordinator Iesha Jackson, who also organized the fair, helps students access college and provide support in the college environment.

 “I was ecstatic to have such a great turn out. I was extremely impressed to see so many K-8 students with their siblings or parents, engaged at the fair,” Jackson said.

“It was great collaborating with district partners and sponsors to ensure this was a successful event. My goal is to continue to increase the magnitude of the fair every year!”

In addition to school personnel, many elected city and school district officials attended the fair to promote college and career readiness. City of DeSoto Mayor the Hon. Curtistene S. McCowan and City Councilmember Nichole Raphiel joined DeSoto ISD School Board President Karen Daniel, Vice-President DeAndrea Fleming and Trustees Tiffany Clark, Amanda Sargent and Aubrey Hooper onsite to showcase their favorite colleges and support this community event.

The District is continually focused on preparing its students for a strong future on a daily basis. The Career and Technical Education program provides students the opportunity to obtain work-ready certifications and gain industry standard experience while still in high school. The Let’s GEAR UP and the Next Generation GEAR UP are two programs which focus on college readiness for high school and middle school students, respectively. The program coordinators distributed college prep materials, including SAT study guides to students for use at home.