AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Over 400 middle school students participated in a local leadership and college conference.
Los Barrio of Amarillo hosted their 26th annual Step Up To Success event where students got the opportunity to attended interpersonal sessions with local employers.
The purpose of the event is to help students get a jump start into college by exposing them to a variate of career choices.
Sessions ranged from culinary arts, education, criminal justice, health sciences and engineering. Students decided what sessions they attended based on their personal preference.
The organization believes this event can make an impact on students by informing them of the different local resources they have available to them to help them get into college.
"This event gives students an exposure to different career opportunities," vice president of Los Barrios de Amarillo Sandra Gonzalez said. "I feel like a lot of times the keynote speaker that we have is who really impacts the students and gives them words they need to carry forward and even get them through the rest of the year as they start deciding what they want to do with their future."
Each year the conference has a key note speaker and this year a WTAMU alumni shared his story with the students.
"Step Up To Success is going in the right direction," Winnipeg Blue Bomber kicker Sergio Castillo Jr. said. "What they're doing right now is planting the seed in the brain of these kids to start thinking about pursuing a college career. By bringing in all these different careers to them it opens doors and opportunities to the students."
The event is offered to both middle and high school students. November 16, 2016 will be the next high school conference. The event is free for the students and LBOA sends this invitation to all schools that go through Region 16 and private schools.
Students that attend the event are automatically eligible for a college scholarship that ranges from $800 to $1,000. Other requirements include maintaining a 3.0 GPA and having two letters of recommendation.
Each year the organization gives out over 20 scholarships to students. Recipients that attend a local college will also receive have a personal mentor for their first year of college.