Quad City Minority Partnership jump starts college careers

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Teenage years can be challenging and comforting at Moline High. That time sets the stage for the next decision.

“Get ready for college,” said Aliciah Reyes, 16, a Moline High junior.

At Moline High, that means concentrating in class and focusing on the future.

“You have to know what you’re doing,” added Desiree Washington, 17. “You only have a short amount of time. You can’t wait.”

That’s why nearly 200 minority students from Moline and other local high schools attend a special session on Friday. They’re at Western Illinois University for a youth conference and college fair.

Hosted by the Quad City Minority Partnership, it’s like a hands-on, wake-up call.

“We want to create some opportunities for you to start thinking a little bit more seriously about the next level of your life,” said Valerie Garr, diversity director for the School of Nursing at the University of Iowa. “It does matter.”

“It’s very helpful,” added Washington, who hopes to become a veterinarian.

More than a dozen colleges and universities turned out to help. It’s a time to ask questions and learn about opportunities.

“If you need help, so many people are involved to keep kids in school and do what they really need to do,” said Laquia Booker, 16, a Moline junior preparing for a law career.

These preparations will help high school students to build their futures. It’s a future that mostly includes college and a career.

These connections can open doors for high school students and help them to reach their potential.

“I think it’s really important,” Reyes concluded. “It gets you ahead of everybody else. It gives you much more and motivates you.”

A lesson from WIU to last a lifetime.