Got College? Tailgate CCSD College Fair Plus 2015

Eldorado High School Students Enjoying their time at the UNLV GEAR UP Got College? Tailgate

Most college students will tell you that one of the great activities they enjoy while attending school is going to the sporting events, especially the football games. There is just something special about all of the fun and excitement of a good college football game. But what makes those football games even more memorable and special is the pre-game activities, a.k.a. the Tailgating. There is music, food, laughter, and great anticipation in the parking lot prior to the event beginning that builds up the excitement and hype for game. Well, UNLV GEAR UP staff decided that if students can get excited about a football game, they can get excited about their educational future in a similar fashion.

UNLV GEAR UP created the “Got College Tailgater” Event in order to get students excited and motivated to learn more about their post-secondary options at the CCSD College Fair Plus on October 21, 2015. A total of 425 students from 7 high schools and 2 middle schools were bused to Cashman Center prior to the college fair, and a “tailgate” environment was created in the parking lot for the students. Music was provided by DJ Maxx (one of our GEAR UP tutors), food was catered by Honey Baked Ham, and raffle prizes were donated by several of the college representatives at the fair.

West Prep Students ready to speak to college recruiters

Students took selfie pictures and posted to their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, danced, ate, and had a great time getting to know each other. Once the college fair doors were opened, the entire 425 GEAR UP student group walked down the hill towards the college fair, and were warmly welcomed by the colleges and universities present, eager to provide the students with information about their respective schools. After the event, students were extremely thankful for the opportunity, and provided very positive feedback on the Got College Tailgate activity. Several students commented on how “refreshingly different” and “innovative” the tailgate event was to encourage students to attend the college fair.

In a survey provided by Mojave HS after the event, the overwhelming majority of the students said that the event motivated them to definitely apply to college, gave them a better sense of what kind of college they are looking for, and encouraged them that they can pay for it through scholarships and financial aid. The “Got College” Tailgater at the CCSD College Fair Plus by all accounts was a huge success, and the UNLV GEAR UP team thanks all those who made this event possible.

Mojave High School Students arrive at the tailgate
Josh Gainey

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