Road to College: Students hope to be chosen for summer program

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Over 200 Road to College students and mentors like Juanita Orozco met Tuesday night at Barwise Middle School with their parents to learn more about how students can be selected for an upcoming academic summer program.

Before becoming a mentor for the program, Orozco was one of those students selected for the summer program, and she said it helped her come out of her shell.

"I was really shy," Orozco said. "Mr. Robles would say that during my first year in Road to College I spoke barely two sentences during the whole program."

Orozco, who's a junior at Wichita Falls High School, said she didn't think she could handle advance classes before taking the six-week academic summer course for Road to College students. A program that's part of Cafe Con Leche, led by the founder Gonzalo Robles.

"I was afraid of taking advanced classes," Orozco said. "I was scared like I didn't know if I could do it or not. I was always second-guessing myself."

Now, Orozco can be found walking the halls of Vernon College as she takes on two college-level classes, English and History.

"The program has helped me a lot in speaking out more, and getting ready for college by taking advance classes," Orozco said.

Dr. Kym Acuna, an MSU assistant professor, and Road to College Advisor said the summer program is designed to prepare students for pre-advance and advanced courses for the next school year.

"They have class in the morning, they have class in the afternoon, and they have lunch where there is also a learning opportunity there," Acuna said. "They work on things like manners and etiquette."

The summer program is an intensive program that Acuna said has shown the organization how much their students are capable of.

"Over 90 percent of the {Road to College} students are taking an advance and pre-advance courses," Acuna said.

Orozco is now encouraging other students to take advantage of the free six-week course if selected.

"A lot of the time students, they don't really want to go to a summer program," Orozco said. "Parents push them to go but I encourage the students to try it and give the program a chance. It's fun, it's educational and they get a lot from it."

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