HMTCA Hosts 5th Annual College Panel

HMTCA Hosts 5th Annual College Panel

Before a packed theater full of Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) high school students, 10 recent alumni of the school talked candidly about their college experiences. It was the fifth year that HMTCA has hosted this event to raise awareness about college and career.

The ten panelists were all either freshman or sophomores in colleges ranging from the University of New Haven, UConn, Regis College, and Capital Community College, among others. Prompted by moderator Hannah Kaizer, a school counselor, the panelists talked about everything from commuting versus not commuting to college, balancing classes with work and other activities, and the college application process.

Asked for examples of what they had learned after being accepted to college, responses varied from the mundane, like how to do laundry, to more critical lessons like advocating for yourself as a college student living on their own for the first time.

When asked about long-term goals, the panelists shared responses that reflected a broad range of interests: getting a degree in public health, helping people, human development, personal training and engineering, business, law or law enforcement, and technology.

“The HMTCA Annual Alumni College Panel is a day that is important to both HMTCA staff and students –and one of my favorite days of the year,” said Kaizer, who served as panel moderator. “Freshman are encouraged to start thinking about their post-secondary plans and we continue that theme over their four years with us. Whether they chose to attend a four-year college, two-year college, enlist in the military, take a gap year, pursue a trade, or secure employment, the goal is to have every student leave HMTCA with the plan that works best for them and makes them the happiest.”

The panelists also gave advice to current HMTCA students based on hindsight. They encouraged students to do their work, take more AP or college-level courses, but to also take care of themselves and find balance.

“The awareness and insight that my students gain from the panel is invaluable as they know the alumnus on the panel and have personal relationships with them,” Kaizer noted.

This event supports the District Model of Excellence priority of Teaching & Learning, as it’s an example of support that ensures students graduate ready for college.