Connections Weekly Newsletter

February 10, 2023

Four-Year Planning

Ms. Peters and Mr. Zickmund visited classes this week to help students with their four-year plan. A four-year plan allows students to personalize their high school experience, incorporate classes that will lead to their future college, major, career, and ensure that they are incorporating all courses needed to graduate from high school on time. You can see your student’s course plan for next year in your Naviance parent account. Access codes were sent to all guardians this week. If you are unable to find your Naviance code, email

Class of 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

As final admissions decisions from colleges start to roll in, it seems like an appropriate time to address the emotional impact of the college process — not on the kids but on their parents. This article will focus on the psychological well-being of parents as their child continues the separation process and moves through college selection.

SOME Colleges might request you to send your mid-year or semester transcripts. Check your Common Application school homepage or the college website to see if these are needed. You can request your mid-year transcripts through Naviance>Colleges>Apply To College>Manage Transcripts>Red Circle>College Application Transcript.

Financial aid can be one of the more confusing aspects of the college admission process. Most students hope to receive some form of financial aid to help pay for the high cost of college. Unfortunately, no two award letters are created equal. It would certainly be helpful if they were, but every college has their own format and it’s often hard to compare one to the other. Here are five examples that will help you understand financial aid awards.

Class of 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

The deadline for the 2022-23 Coolidge Scholarship application is now just two weeks away (February 23, 2023). The Coolidge Scholarship is a full-ride, four-year, merit scholarship that may be used by recipients for undergraduate study at any accredited college or university in the United States. Click here for more information.

While the course requirements in the first three years of high school can often seem relatively straightforward, it is common for juniors in high school to be given a bit more leeway as they build their schedules. This article helps in planning a senior year, which subjects you should study, how difficult your classes should be, or how many courses you can fit into one course load.

Passion and determination are highly valued in the admissions office. Academics matter a lot, this article talks about how students need to find the right balance as they go through high school between hitting the books and pursuing activities outside the classroom that reflect who they are and then figure out how to make themselves shine through on their college applications.

This article is a checklist of some of the things that juniors and their families should be thinking about, discussing, and doing over the next few months.

Class of 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

As we have been talking in class about the importance of considering your personal values as you explore potential careers, we want to encourage families to sit down over a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat about how values have directed (or altered) your career choices. Our students used a paper card sort, but here is a virtual tool that is similar to our process. If students do not recall their top 5 values, they can log in to Naviance>About Me>Surveys from your school>10 – Values Survey

Save The Date: PSAT/NMSQT Exam - Next Year

The PSAT/NMSQT Exam at TCA will be Thursday, October 5 from 8:00 -11:45am. This is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying exam for juniors and is a PSAT/NMSQT practice exam for sophomores. The payment and registration deadline is September 8.

Community Service Hours

Volunteer Opportunity: North Elementary Mission to Mars Event – February 24, 2023. Contact – Lisa Cook – N. Elementary PTO – Volunteer Link -

Need to log your Community Service hours? Check out this x2Vol HOW TO video. More information on the Community Service Graduation Requirements can be found on the TCA website on the Connections page. If you are in the Class of 2023, your 30 hours and 3 papers need to be entered into x2VOL, and if applicable, Green Cord forms need to be turned in by the end of the 3rd Quarter, March 20. If you have any questions about graduation requirements, stop by Connections. For questions about Green Cord, contact Kim Voicu or Cade Cheshire.

Career & College Visits


Next Week in Connections, Room 1104
* Tuesday, 2/14 10:30, Valentine’s Day BINGO
* Wednesday, 2/15 9:35, Pikes Peak State College
* Wednesday, 2/15 10:30, S’more: Choosing Courses Based on Career
* Thursday, 2/16 11:00, CMA Awards Virtual Field Trip

STEAM Takes the Spotlight Virtual Field Trip on Thursday, February 16 from 11:00-11:30 am Students are introduced to a variety of key STEAM professionals working behind the scenes at the CMA Awards in Nashville, TN. Come to Connections for the live backstage session.

In the Community

Save the date for Spring RMACAC College Fairs: March 4, 2023, from 9:00-11:30 at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs and March 5, 2023 from 1:00-3:30 at Cherokee Trail High School in Denver.

Arts, Design & Multimedia Event with a Career Panel will be on March 18 from 10 am – 12:30 pm at Rampart High School at 8250 Lexington Drive. Register here.


Save the Date for Spring 2023 NACAC Virtual College Fairs on February 19, March 19 and April 23. All fairs will feature College MatchMaking which matches students to specific colleges and universities based on the criteria they provided. Register here.

Join this free webinar, What Every Student Should Know About Picking a Major or Career Path, on February 16 at 5pm to gain insights from Dr. Victor McGuire as he shares the key lessons he’s learned about finding the “right” career path for each student. Register here.

GoToCollegeFairs is hosting a virtual Learning Differences Fair on February 23 from 10am – 12pm and 4:30pm – 6:30pm. This fair is specifically to help students with learning differences understand options and services that are available in college. Registration will open February 8.

Can You Help? BINGO Prizes or Volunteer to Bake Cookies?

BINGO Prizes: We love hosting BINGO games on Tuesdays but are running low on prizes. We give out 12 prizes each day. Students love snacks! If you are so inclined, please send in some snacks for prizes to our Center. Small bags of chips and candy are popular. Thank you!

Students: If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity and you like to bake, we would love to have you bake cookies or other treats for our Friday Career Chats. Stop by Connections for more information.

Enrichment Opportunities

Boys State and Girls State is a six-day hands-on experience in the operation of the democratic form of government, the organization of political parties, and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Colorado government. Boys: June 4-10, deadline to apply is May 1. Girls: June 15-20, deadline to apply is May 15

IPAA Energy Workforce Education Center Exploring Energy Program is hosting a free Virtual Exploring Energy STEM Competition for students on Monday, March 6 from 3 to 6 pm. Prizes given to the top three teams. Deadline to register is March 3.

Calvin University is hosting their Summer Career Explorations program from June 26-30. Students can explore future careers in Digital filmmaking, Education, History, Nursing, and Strategic Communication. Deadline to register is April 28.

The Santa Clara University School of Engineering will be offering the Spring Engineering Education Days (SEEDs) and Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) programs geared toward students who are not yet committed to a future in engineering and who have had minimal exposure to engineering programs due to lack of access. The deadline to apply is February 26.

The North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics Morganton is hosting its 2023 INSPIRE (Introducing STEM Pathways through Inquiry and Research Experiences) summer program from June 25-30. INSPIRE students participate in an inquiry or research experience and each student is matched with a mentor who facilitates this experience.

AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design) School Pre-College Programs offer high school students a unique opportunity to "try-out" art & design school during the summer before their 3rd year or final year of secondary school. Students choose an area of focus/major, live in the college dorms, and follow a college-level studio curriculum. Choose from 25+ schools.

My Journey is hosting a free virtual webinar for students and their families called What Every Student Should Know About Picking a Major or Career Path on Thursday, February 16 at 5pm. Register here.

The 3rd Annual West Point Leadership & Ethics Seminar of Colorado will be held from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm on Wednesday, April 5th at the auditorium and classroom facilities of Fellowship Denver Church - 1990 South Broadway, Denver, CO 80210. This program is designed for high school juniors & select sophomores who are emerging leaders among their peers. See Ms. Peters if interested.

Youth Documentary Academy is an intensive, two-month summer documentary filmmaking fellowship serving teenagers in Southern Colorado from ages 14-18. From initial concept to final edit and distribution, you will learn the process of documentary filmmaking, including hands-on training with digital cameras, sound recording, lighting and interviewing, and digital editing. Deadline to apply is April 16.

AI Camp provides quality AI education, opening doors into the tech industry. Participants can gain technical experience and have AI internship opportunities. Scholarships available. Deadline to apply is February 19.

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy New York and Los Angeles will be hosting auditions for scholarships in Denver on February 18. Sign up here.

VirtualJobShadow allows you to explore the "world of work" virtually while learning about thousands of careers.

UpSkill Pikes Peak offers free training in Career, Business, and Basic Workplace Skills for all ages.

Talent Found Dashboard offers FREE Education and Career Resources for Job Seekers (high school and beyond!).

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is offering Project Uplift , a summer enrichment and college access program designed to promote and increase access to higher education for rising high school seniors, especially those underrepresented in postsecondary education.

Interested in film? The Colorado Film Webinar Series addresses the need for community engagement and education during COVID-19 by providing timely webinars to the creative film and media community. Business owners and professionals representing all roles within the industry run 90-minute live-streaming panels that are free and accessible to the public.

Scholarships and More

Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs Scholarships are open to students majoring in programs that lead to careers in manufacturing. Deadline to apply is March 31.

NetJets Scholarship is open to incoming and current college students who are/will be majoring in Aviation or Hospitality. Deadline to apply is March 31.

P. Buckley Moss Endowed Scholarship is open to high school seniors with financial need, a certified language-related learning difference, and artistic talent who plan a career in visual arts. Deadline to apply is March 31.

School Survey Sweepstakes is open to current high school students, high school alumni who graduated within the last four years, and the parents of those students or alumni. Individual must take a survey on a United States high school. Deadline to apply is March 31.

SkillPointe Foundation Scholarship is for students pursuing non-credit courses at an approved community college, technical college, or other training institution.

Deadline to apply is March 31.

State Farm Companies Foundation Scholarship is open to high school juniors who will be completing or leaving high school and entering college in the fall of 2023. Deadline to apply is March 31.

Team Type1 Foundation Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors and current college students who have Type 1 diabetes and is/will be a competitive athlete at an accredited NCAA or NAIA institution. Deadline to apply is March 31.

Ted G. Wilson Memorial Scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors and current college students who plan to further their education in the construction industry. Deadline to apply is March 31.

Women in Technology Scholarship is open to female undergraduate students who are majoring in Science, Technology Engineering or Math (STEM). Deadline to apply is March 31.

Writers of the Future Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Deadline is March 31.

The Gazette Charities Foundation Best & Brightest scholarship program recognizes 20 graduating seniors who have excelled academically and made contributions to their schools and community. Deadline to apply is March 17.

Regional Tuition Savings Programs are agreements between states to reduce the out-of-state tuition rate. The Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE) offers three of these programs

College Highlights

Your future education might include projects like this engineering advancement at Santa Clara University.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Pilot?

We heard First Officer and USAF Colonel (ret) Christine Holliday talk about her career as a pilot in our Career Chat this week. There is a growing need in this career, and if you are interested in becoming a pilot, check out this slide from Officer Holliday’s presentation showing pathways to get there. If you are looking for a flying program while you are in high school, explore this one from the Aviation Education Foundation of Colorado.

Career Focus - Agriculture/Fine Arts/Engineering

Agriculture: As you completed your Career Cluster Finder, was the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources cluster highly ranked? When students read “agriculture”, there were many misconceptions about jobs in this arena. Consider this article and its effect on future careers.

Fine Arts: If you are interested in a Fine Arts career, check out these resources, Art Undergraduate advice and Fine Arts Careers

What do you know about engineering? Did you know that a mechanical engineer is developing a new electronic skin?

In the News

Why is it important to pay attention to the news? Here is one recent announcement:

Agilent plans to invest approximately $725 million in Frederick to double its manufacturing capacity of therapeutic nucleic acids, or short DNA and RNA molecules that help target a growing number of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and rare and infectious diseases. The expansion will create many new positions, including manufacturing and research and development chemists, facilities and maintenance engineers, quality assurance and control specialists, technical engineers and writers, and supply chain and project managers. These jobs are expected to have an average annual wage of over $100,000.

Leading a growing company means always looking toward the future. How is the world changing? What’s coming down the pipeline? What strategy should you follow? For some people, looking at the future is an art. For others, it’s a science. Check out this interview with Dave Gilboa with Warby Parker.

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director - 9th & 10th Grades, PSAT/NMSQT, Scholarships

Skip Zickmund, Assistant Director - 11th & 12th Grades, AP

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service