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Test Drive NWCC a hit with next student generation

TERRACE It was a full couple of days worth of activities that could very well be part of their immediate future for the 30 or so participants in the first ever Test Drive NWCC event. After a rocking start Tuesday evening, where the participants enjoyed a slice of campus life with the high-energy sounds of Hazelton teen rockers 15 to Freedom and games of outdoor volleyball, Day 2 was packed with information and learning activities simulating what college life is all about. Divided into four sections, participants spent the whole day learning about campus amenities, such as the cafeteria and library, programs offered at Northwest Community College (NWCC), tips for success and financial aid and real-life College student success stories. The evening was capped off with activities in Waap Galts'ap, including a cedar weaving workshop. After a second night staying in the campus dorms, participants wrapped up on Thursday by choosing one of three Continuing Education certificate courses: Resum‚ Writing, Employment First Aid Kit, or Young Workers Safety. Aside from a couple of minor glitches the two nights coincided with high temperatures and hot and stuffy dorm rooms the reactions from the high schoolers (or high school graduates) was overwhelmingly positive. Kitimat's Jake Bilash, entering Grade 12 this fall, only wished the event was even longer than the roughly two full days they had together. "The whole program was great, but I wish it was longer," said Bilash, adding he made a couple of new friends in the process. Bilash says he's committed to post-secondary education and his experience at Test Drive NWCC has cemented his plan to begin those studies in Terrace. "I kind of want to get the feel of campus life because my goal is to be on campus and stay on campus," Bilash said. "It was good. We woke up early, but the cafeteria was open and we got our own dorm room." The Mount Elizabeth Secondary School student still isn't sure what studies he will pursue but he felt the event showed that NWCC programs offer their own expertise. Participant Greg Kofoed, here visiting his dad from Ontario, has narrowed down his interests to the trades field, but was surprised with the number of options offered at the College. "They talked about all the trades and it really broadened my horizons," said Kofoed, who was interested in automotive, carpentry and culinary arts, but became intrigued too with the Heavy Equipment Operator Technician program. "I was not expecting the number of trades offered here at this college." As for the atmosphere, Kofoed said after a tentative start, all the participants seemed to have an open attitude and looked to have fun. "In the summer, the last thing you want to do is go to school, but this turned out to be a really good opportunity," said Kofoed.

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