The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


The student news site of Aspen High School


College Outreach and Planning Your Summer

Sydney Klausman
Students and families from all over the Western Slope gather at the Aspen Middle School parking lot on October 1st, 2023 to talk to the numerous college reps inside the white tents.

Aspen High School students are being welcomed into the Aspen community through a multitude of summer opportunities that will keep this summer exciting.

Aspen High School hosted the Summer Jobs Fair on Thursday, April 18th during SET which many upper and some underclassmen attended. At the fair students were able to connect with representatives from 25 businesses throughout the valley and apply for jobs. Some of the positions students applied for were at RedFox, The W, the Snowmass Club, and the Maroon Creek Club. Sophomore, Eleanor Carroll, believes the jobs fair was an easier and more enjoyable way to find a summer job in Aspen and its surrounding areas.

“It’s easier to speak with people than to do your own research, it was also nice to have all of these resources in one place, also you can coordinate getting jobs with your friends,” Caroll said.

The Summer Jobs Fair was put on by the College Outreach organization. This organization is also in charge of the Colorado Western Slope College Fair which happens every October. The idea for the summer jobs fair was born from the difficulties of providing information on these opportunities during the college fair.

“Since the CWS College Fair is in October it is psychologically challenging to get people thinking about summer,” Executive Director at College Outreach, Kelly Doherty said.

The College Outreach organization caters to the entire western slope. The fair hosts more than 250 colleges every year and 85+ schools from around the western slope. College Outreach also has a multitude of videos and articles on its website aimed at helping kids decide what to do after high school, how to be a student-athlete, what the application process looks like, financial aid, and much more. One way this organization reaches out to students, parents, and post-secondary counselors is through seminars. All of the seminars for 2024 are virtual. At these seminars college admissions officers and other experts come together to discuss the seminar topic and end with a Q&A. This year the organization has been trying to give more information on careers in tech. For example, there was a tent for it at the College Fair, and there will be a seminar on careers and programs in tech on May 9th.

College Outreach believes that the college definition includes four-year colleges, two-year colleges, certification programs, and workforce training—overall continuing education after high school. The organization also believes that experiences before college in different fields can help students produce more compelling applications, and gain an improved sense of direction, and experience in a specific field. This is one of the reasons for hosting the jobs fair. In January, the organization also hosted a virtual seminar discussing summer opportunities for high school students on the Western Slope.

“In the summer you can have fun, you can take an academic course or related program, have a summer job or internship, travel or volunteer,” said Doherty

College Outreach uses the acronym FACTS for students to plan their summers. F stands for fun, A for Academics/Activities, C for career, T for travel, and S for service.

The seminars are a good way “for folks who missed it (the jobs fair), or most parents who weren’t there to participate” Doherty said.

The first summer seminar was held on January 17th since many summer programs require applications around late January. If you missed it, you can watch recordings of the seminar on the website in either English or Spanish. The Summer Opportunities (Part II), Strategies & Resources for Success in College Seminar: Learn How, When & Where to Seek Help from Colleges & Outside Programs Seminar will be held on the evening of May 7th. This seminar will also be recorded and on the website. These seminars are completely free and do not have mandatory participation. Many students at Aspen High School will also be receiving email communication about other College Outreach events. In the meantime, students can continue to follow up with the businesses they connected with at the jobs fair, read through the lists of internships and service opportunities, watch recorded seminars on the College Outreach website, and start planning their summer activities and goals.

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