March 30, 2018 4:35 pm

More than 500 8th graders from throughout the region gathered at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom on March 23 to learn about the importance of higher education and experience life on a college campus. This annual event provides students with a sneak peek into the activities, programs and facilities on campus, and strategies for success in higher education.

Students gathered in the Health Education Center for a high-energy morning of live music provided by local band Inhibitions. After the concert, keynote speaker Loyal Allen spoke to students about his own experiences as a first-generation college student. Allen, who serves as Highline College’s Director of Workforce Education Services, encouraged students to take advantage of the opportunity to learn about the impact a college education can have on a person’s career prospects.

Students also attended several group sessions designed to demonstrate how a college degree or certificate can impact their future earning power. Students also learned about ways to pay for college as well as strategies they can implement now to better prepare themselves for college.

8th Grade College Exploration Day is held at Pierce College and a number of other colleges and universities throughout the state, in collaboration with The Washington Council for High School-College Relations.