Students seek answers on ‘College Day’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — When Xavier Allen arrived at the Vidalia Riverfront Convention Center on Wednesday for the Concordia Parish School Board’s College Day, he already had a plan for his future.

Allen, a senior at Ferriday High School, was one of approximately 200 seniors in attendance at the parish’s annual event, but unlike the majority of peers, he has already decided his course of action.

“I’ve always wanted to go to LSU for engineering,” Allen said.

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Allen, who moved from Monroe to Ferriday in his sophomore year, said he was taking junior and senior classes upon transferring to Ferriday High School and looked to college courses to fill his academic time after his required classes were all taken.

“Over the summer, I took a science class — intro to biology— at the University of Louisiana at Monroe,” Allen said.

Allen said he’s also taken sociology and English classes through Northwestern State, and next semester, he is planning on taking an intro to engineering class with McNeese State University.

“Most likely, I’m going to have 12 college credits before I leave high school,” Allen said.

While not related to Xavier Allen, Cody Allen, a senior at Vidalia High School, shares a common bond with his fellow senior — he is just as focused on his future.

But Cody Allen’s future is not set up on just a four-year plan.

“I’ve always wanted to join the Army,” Cody Allen said. “A lot of my family has served in the military.”

With an uncle in the Army and another uncle as a United States Marine, Cody Allen said that while he’s looking in to all of his military options, he’s leaning toward joining the Army.

“I just want to protect my country and help other people,” Cody Allen said. “I like doing something different.”

While not all students are as certain of their career paths as Xavier Allen and Cody Allen, Concordia Parrish School Board’s Director of Academic Programs Paul Nelson said the purpose of the program is to allow students with or without plans the ability to see what options are out there.

“We’ve been doing this for about three or four years,” Nelson said. “I hope that it will allow students to know there are opportunities out there besides the one they are leaning toward now.”

Approximately 24 recruiters were present to draw attention from the parish’s soon-to-be graduates, and while their involvement was appreciated, some students will be sticking with their first choice.

“I always keep my mind open, but LSU is my first choice,” Xavier Allen said.