For Tonesha Smith, it was all about seeing her daughter succeed in school and in life.
“I want to see her get interested in the classes she’s really interested in,” she said, escorting daughter Jazmine Hathorn and her friend, Tamera Lofton. The two Callaway High School students plan to room at Hinds together once their high school days are over.
Hathorn checked out music and art programs, as did Lofton, plus her most palpable passions.
“Singing, definitely, and dance and theater,” Hathorn said.
They were among about 1,000 high school seniors who attended this year’s Eagle Experience at Mayo Gym on the Raymond Campus, which features exhibits highlighting all the academic and career-tech programs Hinds has to offer as well as activities ranging from student publications to the Hi-Steppers dance team to Honors.
The event is a come-and-go expo-style spread of exhibits and displays that gives high school seniors and their parents an opportunity to find out everything they need to know about enrolling at Hinds.
Eagle Experience offered Raymond Campus tours, interaction with current students and all the college basics a new student needs to know about including admissions, scholarships, majors, housing, student life and more. Participants can also enjoy food and prizes.
Lofton and Courtney Jamison, of Florence, were among those who looked into activities that go into college life at Hinds, such as cheering.
“I’ve been cheering all my life, really,” Jamison said. “But I’m also interested in music, Hinds Connection and doing the yearbook.”
Some attendees made this year’s event into a road trip.
“I’m into helping others, and having new experiences in new places,” said Takishia Lee, who made the trip with her mother, Tanesheia Lee, who is a certified nursing assistant, and other friends from Scott County. Lee sought information from the associate degree nursing program, as did her fellow seniors Tyunna Odom and Ambriyana Roberts.
Career-tech options ranged from welding to graphic design. A simulator at the Industrial Maintenance table kept prospective students combined the elements of real-world welding with a bit of virtual reality.
“It simulates welding two steel plates, which teaches body positioning, angle and distance to hold welding rods in a clean, non-waste environment,” said Industrial Maintenance Technology Instructor Geoffrey Horne as he helped Rodrick Snow, of Raymond, get the hang of a virtual welding shield through which participants could see their handiwork. For the real thing, the Welding & Cutting Technology table offered a view of neatly-sealed metal hinges, among other items.
Creating cool logos and designs using the latest graphic design programs caught the eyes of Erica Adams, Talia Sweezer and Dazieyette Jackson, a trio of Vicksburg High School seniors who made the trip as part of the school’s campus tour.
“I just have a passion for designing things like that,” Sweezer said.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with more than 170 academic, career and technical programs. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolled nearly 11,500 credit students in fall 2015. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.