DHS College Fair

Wanting to find more information about various colleges, Emely Velasquez, 12, attended the DUSD College Fair on Oct. 23 at the Allen Layne Stadium. “The college representatives were there to answer any questions I had,” Velasquez said. “The representatives helped inform me about their colleges.”

Adrian Soto, Writer

Due to the student interest in pursuing education after high school, Downey High School hosted the annual District Wide College Fair on Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Allen Layne Stadium field.


California possess the largest number of universities of any one state in the United States.  To accommodate all these colleges and even more universities which reside out of state, the District Wide College Fair introduces students to not only Californian universities but a variety of options for post-high school education.  Among all the private and state universities that attended, the district also had booths for the military organizations available after secondary schooling. With an increase in schools over last year, more than sixty colleges were present.


An involved AP student and marching band member, senior Edward Haro, searched  the college fair for his schools of interest.


“[I feel] stressed with so many colleges I can’t get into, so many colleges I can get into— It’s giving me an idea of where I want to go,” Haro said.  “Yeah, I think [the fair is successful]; I see a lot of people asking questions. I mean I asked a few questions that helped me out regarding my major and the college application process.”


Juniors and seniors partook in questioning the series of booths available to them, delving into the different aspects and factors colleges are looking for.  The students formed lines for almost every booth as soon as the fair opened its doors to them. In previous years only highly competitive colleges/universities captured enough attention to amass so much inquiry, yet this year every Cal State University began answering heaps of questions unlike prior years.  Among all the booths, the seventeen out-of-state universities in attendance were attracting parents and their children.


Demetrio Tores, 11, aspires to go to college and realizes the college fair is an excellent source of information on higher-level education.  Having traversed across the bulk of the fair, he notices a lacking quality of the event.


“It’s pretty crazy, the lines are incredibly long, but they answer the questions that you need and that is all that really matters,” Tores stated.  “[I would like] getting more ‘out of state’ schools…like I heard a few friends talking about how states like New York weren’t here, the bigger schools which is understandable, but it would be nice to hear from them.”


As an improvement over previous years, the Downey Unified School District College Fair presented informational workshops all night long.  These presentations consisted of topics like “What is College Like?”, “Financial Aid – English”, “Financial Aid – Spanish/Dream Act” and “Cerritos Complete – Free Tuition Program.” All of the workshops were run by qualified staff and alumni from nearby colleges to explain their college related topics.  


College representative and alumni of Marymount California University, Meshach Puerto, marvels at the magnitude to which Downey organized the fair.  Prepared to answer questions, Puerto enjoys attending the fair on behalf of Marymount.


“This is actually one of the better organized college fairs that I’ve been to and all the students and parents came prepared with good questions and all came up to me to get information.  I usually don’t speak with a lot a people but I spoke with a lot of people today so I was very happy,” Puerto said. “Everybody was smiling, everybody was happy…I try to speak to each person and speak to each individual, to tailor every conversation to that person and it was very helpful for them.”


Similar to previous college fairs, this fair acts as the direct informant between student and university.  The college fair was organised and held at Downey High School because of Dr. Quintero’s, along with her staff and student volunteers’ efforts.  The Marines, Navy, and Army were among universities like Stanford, Humboldt, Berkeley, UCS, UCLA, Occidental and University of San Francisco; the college fair had options and booths for everyone, no matter their post secondary goal.