On April 23, 130 second grade students from La Junta Primary School explored Otero Junior College as part of a class trip designed to get them thinking about their futures.
With the assistance of several OJC student ambassadors, the students enjoyed a tour of campus, beginning with a video welcome from OJC President Jim Rizzuto in the Ed Stafford Theater.
After the video, the students toured the fitness center and exercised in the McDivitt Center Gym. Beverlee Miller, OJC fitness center associate, led the exercises and explained the importance of exercise, not just for the body, but also for the brain.
The students then filed into the Learning Commons to hear Sue Keefer, director of library and learning resources, talk about the differences between the library at their school and OJC’s library. Keefer encouraged the students to continue to build on their love of science and to explore the variety of careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering as they get older.
With a brief foray into a rare La Junta snowstorm, visits were made to the Life Sciences building and McBride Hall to see some of the college’s classrooms. The tour culminated with ice cream sandwiches in the Rattlers’ Den, OJC’s cafeteria.
Becky Craig, principal of La Junta Primary, stated that the idea for the visit was to help the students form a “future story”, a picture of their lives in the future. “The goal is to expose all students to the idea of going to college. We have held a career fair to help students discover the various career opportunities out there, too.”
Ashley Watkins, Otero Junior College recruiter who helped facilitate the group’s campus visit, deemed it a success. “It was a great experience for the students to get to visit a college at such a young age,” said Watkins. “We hope that they are already thinking about their future and that this tour made an impact on them. The students asked good questions and were very interested in finding out more about college life.”
Photo Caption: La Junta second graders get a quick workout and talk on the importance of exercise from Beverlee Miller, OJC fitness center associate.
Photo Caption: Students enjoy the snowfall as they move from the Life Sciences Building to McBride Hall to peek at the college classrooms.
Photo Caption: Ice cream sandwiches in the Rattlers’ Den top off the trip. Many of the students say they plan to come to OJC when they graduate.