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College visitors give MHS students tips on what to expect for study, housing and work on campus.

SUSAN MATHENY/MADRAS PIONEER - MHS grads, now in college, who returned to speak to high school students included, from back left, Tristan Bateman, Jordan Bennett (not from MHS), Omar Dominguez, Miklo Hernandez, Ryan Leriche, Obed Eriza, Daren Shaw, Colton Goss and Terrell Wallalutum. Front row, from left, Elle Renault, Taylor Sjolund, Dacota Ashwill, Danielle Schmaltz (at back), Nishell Abbe, Carly Breach, Vanessa Aguirre, Nikkola Prevett, Jeremy Stinson and Lizzie Wienert.
Eighteen Madras High School graduates, who are now attending college, visited MHS guide room classes to talk to juniors and seniors about their experiences and share advice on Dec. 20.

That morning, the college kids gathered in the library, where they enjoyed catching up with each other and teachers before heading out to classrooms. One girl brought her college boyfriend, who also agreed be a speaker.

Assistant Principal H.D. Weddel told the visitors that students will listen to information from other students more readily than information from adults.

"We want our students to get a vision from you and see that could be them," he said, adding, "You can plant some visions and some reality about college."

Two or three college students spoke in each class, covering topics including how they chose their school, how they are playing for it, if they live on or off campus, if they work on or off campus, how much they study each day, and advice they would give MHS students about preparing for college.

Nikkola Prevett, from Western Oregon University, Obed Eriza, from Lewis and Clark College, and Miklo Hernandez, from George Fox College, spoke to Juanita Payton's class.

"The difference between college and MHS classes is that you have to study, you can't just wing it," said Eriza, noting he used to try to wing tests at MHS.

He is involved in football and Hernandez is in track, and all three said they have on-campus work study or other jobs.

"Prepare for college and think ahead. Look at what different colleges offer. Aviance (MHS computerized college search program) is your best friend, and talk to your scholarship advisor," Hernandez told students.

"Start looking at scholarships and start applying now," Prevett advised them, noting she had to transfer schools because the scholarship amount she thought she was getting didn't pan out. "Ask them what the final cost will be for you," she warned.

Books can cost hundreds of dollars in college, and Prevett gave students the tip that they are much cheaper through Amazon or at a used book store, than at the college book store.

As for campus activities outside of class, Eriza told students, "Spend your time wisely. There are a lot of weekend distractions."

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