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Pitman High parents, students learn about road to college, career
college night
A Pitman High School student looks at literature on College Night with California State University, Sacramento Admissions and Outreach Counselor Angelina Gutierrez (right). Hundreds of Pitman parents and students attend College Night, which was held to raise awareness and educate about college and career opportunities. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Planning for a prosperous and fulfilling future was the theme Wednesday night at Pitman High’s annual College Night.

Admission counselors and recruiters from public and private universities, vocational schools, community colleges and the military were on hand to answer questions and provide advice to hundreds of parents and students.

According to Associated Student Body President Isais Rumayor, the event was a crash course to educate both parents and students on how to get to college.

“This is about getting kids and their parents knowledgeable about the many opportunities,” he said. “Sometimes students and parents can neglect college because they think their grades aren’t good enough but this encourages them to look into college. Having a college education has become so important today because competition for jobs is ridiculous.”

For Pitman High School parent Rhonda Brazil it was an educational experience.

“I never went to college so I really had no idea how it all works, but tonight I learned about financial aid options and when and how to apply for colleges,” she said.

Brazil’s daughter, Pitman senior Shandi Mirza, hopes to become an elementary school teacher and while in college she wants to work in cosmetology part time and also use that career field as a back-up plan.

“College is absolutely necessary today and I regret never going, so I am pushing her (Shandi) to go,” said Brazil.

Turlock High School graduate Kellee Razwick, 18, attended the event as a representative for the U.S. Navy’s Turlock recruiting station. In a few months she will be leaving for boot camp and A-school to become a Navy Corpsman

“I thought about going straight to a four-year college a lot but I decided on the Navy because I can get paid to learn the medical field and travel. And if I get out in five years I can either stay in the medical field with that valuable experience or use the GI Bill to pay for college and I can look at other careers there,” said Razwick.

Whether it is college, the military or vocational school, Pitman High academic counselors work hard to push on-going education to students.

“We try to make the student aware of all the options available but the big goal is to help our students know what they want to do for a career and what they need to do to get there,” explained Pitman High counselor Kristie Frank.

According to 2011 graduation data from Frank, 84 percent of all Pitman High graduates entered some form of college. Nearly one quarter of graduates went on to a four-year college, 55 percent to a two-year college, 3 percent joined the military and 2 percent went to a business/ technical or art college.

Students at College Night indicated they were looking for opportunities that would lead to employment without incurring a lot of debt.

Higher education institutions that attended the event included: Heald College, Modesto Junior College, Merced College, ITT Tech, DeVry University, Humprhies College, WyoTech, UC Davis, UC Merced, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley College, University of the Pacific, Paul Mitchell Cosmetology, the California Highway Patrol and the U.S. Marines, Army, Air Force and Navy.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.