Yuma, AZ (November 8, 2022) – Before they even step foot onto a middle school campus, fifth-grade students are getting the opportunity to have the full college experience at Arizona Western College.

For over a decade, AWC has invited fifth graders to become college students for a day through the I’m Going to College event. On Thursday, Nov. 3, a group of 142 students from Yuma Elementary District One schools, O.C. Johnson Elementary and Dorothy Hall Elementary, participated in the program.

Eighteen faculty members from Arizona Western College, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, KAWC, and the AWC/NAU Academic Library volunteered to teach the elementary students lessons on science, nursing, automotive technology, logistics, psychology, career exploration, and many other subject areas.

Students also enjoyed lunch on the lawn with college students, were greeted by the AWC Cheer squad, and culminated the experience with an achievement ceremony surrounded by faculty, current AWC students, and staff. Photos from the event can be found here.

“We are planting the seeds of the future to help college ideas grow into career goals,” said Biridiana Martinez, AWC Admissions, Recruitment & Outreach Coordinator. “The I’m Going to College event provides early college awareness to students in our community with an exceptional hands-on experience.”

AWC first began offering this opportunity in 2010 as a way to inspire young students to consider higher education and to create a college-going culture. Since its inception, over 2,660 students from Yuma and La Paz counties have come through the program.