LIFE program aides students through college process

Senior Jennifer Vargas sat anxiously waiting for the contest winners to be announced. Vargas was one of approximately 20 students who attended the virtual LIFE Day in the seminar room. 

LIFE stands for learning, improvement, fun, and empowerment. The Northwest Community College offers the LIFE program to provide aid to students through college. High school students have the opportunity to create connections with LIFE mentors, who are there to help with the transition from high school to college. 

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it was definitely worth attending,” Vargas said. “I learned things such as scholarship opportunities, the classes they offer, and experiences at NWACC.”

The new LIFE Day event was created to replace the former LIFE summer program due to COVID-19 regulations. LIFE Day took place on April 9. and included prizes, panels, and opportunities to earn scholarships that are only open to students who participated in the event.

“We’ll have college professors, advisors, and admission specialists from NWACC,” LIFE Program Coordinator Codie Ryan said. “We’ll have someone who knows all about financial aid, scholarships, and grants. We are going to have a mental and wellness professional talk about mental health and time management.”

According to Instructional Facilitator Bonnie Wolfe, the LIFE program is a great way to explore options after high school. 

“I think it is very important for students to join this program especially if they are not sure what their future plans are,” Wolfe said. “Having a mentor who has already been through the same thing is important because they have invaluable knowledge to share. NWACC wants to help students connect with the program of study that is right for them.”

One of the activities students participated in was answering questions in a GroupMe. Participants were put into groups with other students from different schools who are in the same grade. 

“The group that I am is all the seniors from nine different schools,” Vargas said. “Every day, starting today, my mentor is going to ask a question and whoever answers it best gets a $15 Chick-Fil-A card.”

The GroupMe allowed for students to build connections with other students who have similar post-high school plans.

“I am excited to build relationships, learn more about NWACC, and extracurricular activities that they offer and campus tradition as a whole,” Vargas said. 

In addition to being asked questions, students had the chance to ask questions to their mentors before LIFE Day.

“We want students to know that we are still available for help at any time,” Ryan said. “We can help with anything. Students can reach their dreams. Our mentors are proof of that.”