Connections Weekly Newsletter

February 24, 2023

Mini-College Fairs at TCA Next Wednesday March 1 and Friday March 3

Next week on Wednesday, March 1, and Friday, March 3, we will host mini-college fairs for students (9th-12th) during flex and lunch in the forum. With over 30 colleges attending, there will be different colleges at each event. All students are welcome. Please check in for attendance in your Flex class and head to the forum.

Community Service Hours

Reminder Seniors: Your Community Service deadline is approaching on March 20. As part of your graduation requirement, you are required to complete 30 volunteer hours, log them into X2VOL, and submit three 350-word papers about your experiences into the X2VOL Portfolio section. If you need help with X2VOL, see the next article. For questions about Green Cord, contact Kim Voicu or Cade Cheshire.

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.

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

While each application is viewed and analyzed on its own merits, colleges and universities are considering a variety of factors and data points during that time. This article talks about how colleges choose which students to admit.

When applying to college, many students think they know which strategies will help them attract the attention – in a good way – of admissions officers. This article addresses the gap between perception and reality about what actually matters, and what matters most, when it comes to grades, test scores, extracurricular activities and other factors.

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.

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. Note: this is on the Thursday morning of Parent/Teacher Conferences BEFORE Fall Break.

Career & College Visits


Next Week in Connections, Room 1104

* Tuesday, 2/28 10:30, BINGO
* Wednesday, 3/1 10:30-11:20, Mini-College Fair
* Wednesday, 3/1 12:20, University of Arizona
* Friday, 3/3 9:35, Colorado Mesa University
* Friday, 3/3 10:30-11:20, Mini-College Fair - 20+ colleges

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 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.

Enrichment Opportunities


There will be an Information Session for Northern Arizona University
in Denver on Tuesday, April 4th at 7pm. Students can register for the event here.

The West Point Summer Leader Experience (SLE) provides rising high school seniors with a week-long immersion into the academic, military, and social life of a cadet. You can learn more: Attend our FB Live SLE Information Brief, Check out some highlights from SLE 2022, and Take a look at our SLE Website.

PPBEA is excited to again be offering summer internship programs in 2023. This summer the following programs will be available: cybersecurity & computer science, business occupations, culinary & hospitality, and skilled trades. Applications open on Monday, March 6th on

Green Box Arts is offering an exciting summer internship opportunity to assist with their summer camp. Learn more by searching for Green Box Arts - Summer Camp Internship on

The Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR) is hosting a 2023 Summer Internship Program for high school. The virtual week program will run June 12-16 and the in-person portion of the program will run July 17-22.

The CSU's Women in Construction Management Summer Institute, on June 6-10 is an on-campus program for students ages 15-18 who are interested in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC).

The University of Toronto is hosting Enrichment & Summer Programs with a wide variety of topics including YSP Youth Summer Programs which offers an exclusive glimpse into the world of Medicine and Law and UC Summer Drama for International Students which offers an environment of growth and exploration for students entering or currently enrolled in a college or university.

St. John’s College is offering Summer Classics, 32 online or in-person weeklong seminars on history and literature, mathematics and science, poetry and philosophy, as well as cinema and opera.

Carnegie Mellon's Pre-College Programs offer a wide range of subjects to study from art, biology, architecture, design, drama, music, writing, and more. Scholarships are available. The final deadline to apply is March 15.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is hosting PREFACE, a summer experience for students interested in pursuing a career in engineering or technology who are part of groups that have been historically underrepresented or underserved in science, engineering, and other technological fields. Deadline to apply is April 14.

Verto Education is a gap year program provider that partners with colleges to enable students to take a gap year and still graduate on their original four-year timeline. Verto allows students to travel for a year without losing time toward college graduation and offers locations such as London, Madrid, Costa Rica, Australia, and more. To learn more, join them for one of their regular online Prospective Student Information Sessions.

The University of Michigan School of Engineering is offering the Joy of Coding, an online, self-paced intro to coding class for high school students – no prior coding experience is required. Financial aid available. Click here for more information.

Rhodes College is offering a Summer Writing Institute for high school students from June 18-30. This is a residential college-prep program with seven writing courses ranging from a fiction workshop to a psychology seminar. Financial aid is available.

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) is a celebration of the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate audiences to protect and preserve the environment. The in-person festival will be at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden from February 23rd to February 26th. Can’t make it? Experience the festival online from February 27th through March 5th.

Scholarships and More

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is an agreement with 160+ participating public colleges and universities to provide steep nonresident tuition savings for Colorado students. Click here for the full list of participating WUE schools! Through WUE, eligible students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate programs outside their home state and pay no more than 150 percent of that institution’s resident tuition rate.

The Lockheed Martin
STEM Scholarship Program awards $10,000 to 200 recipients studying engineering or computer science at a 4-year college or university. Recipients may renew the scholarship up to three times for a total potential value of $40,000 per student. Deadline to apply is March 31.

The Zonta Pikes Peak Area Women in STEM Scholarship is for women of any age and nationality, pursuing a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree program at an accredited university/college/institute, who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field.

The University of Wyoming offers the Brown and Gold Commitment, a financial pledge to benefit incoming non-resident first-year students. This commitment is a merit-based financial pledge determined by a student's cumulative unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT test scores.

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.

Here is a list of full-tuition scholarships from FastWeb.

Career Focus - Skilled Workers/FinTech

3M’s ‘Skilled’ Documentary Subjects Discuss Importance of Skilled Trade Workers at Sundance Variety sat down with “Skilled” filmmaker Julio Palacio and featured subjects – a plumber (Paige Knowles), a welder (Cedric Smith), a film gaffer (Sophia Stieglitz), and a safety specialist (Andrea Martin) – to discuss the new documentary, which explores the lives of trade workers. Read More

New Financial Technology, or Fintech has sparked a demand on Wall Street for tech and finance-savvy talent to fill the many new and emerging jobs in the financial services industry. Candidates with backgrounds in finance, computer science, data analytics, statistics, graphic design, marketing, and other related fields are finding exciting new career opportunities in fast-developing areas. (Read more) Here is a sample of career opportunities in this emerging field.


To help you stay on track, here are the Checklists for March/April by Grade Level:



  • Meet the Community Service Deadline at the end of the 3rd quarter. Remember that this is a Graduation Requirement.

  • Visit Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance for career exploration, training, and summer job opportunities

  • Visit colleges to which you have been accepted if you still need help deciding.


  • Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part.

  • On the waiting list? Contact the admissions office and let them know of your continued interest in the college and update them on your spring semester grades and activities.

  • Compare award letters from colleges.

  • Make a final decision on a school, submit enrollment forms and deposit checks before May 1.

  • Sign and return your award letter/financial aid package by the deadline.

  • If you are not going to college meet with your Connections advisor to discuss your plans and to get support whether you plan to work, go into the military, travel, or participate in a GAP Year Program.

  • Register and attend on-campus programs for accepted students

  • Register and attend any receptions for accepted students in your local area.

  • Update your resume to use for summer jobs.



  • Begin the application process if interested in military academies and/or ROTC.

  • Gather specific info on 4-8 colleges and schedule campus visits when possible. Visiting the actual campus will give you the best idea if you like it or not.

  • Attend the Denver Spring College Fair. Pay attention to Connections Center announcements for date and location.

  • Consider participating in internship and job shadow opportunities.

  • Take state SAT at TCA- time and date to be announced.

  • Complete these Naviance items to help with career/college exploration: Learning and Productivity, Personality, and Strengths Explorer; Update your Resume; Add Colleges and Careers to your Naviance List.



  • Check Naviance for Summer Opportunities (Enrichment Opps) you may want to attend

  • Google Search “college programs, high school”

  • Continue a resume in Naviance, Add Careers and Colleges to your favorites list in Naviance

  • Do a SuperMatch college search in Naviance



  • Watch the Connections Announcements for Summer Opportunities you may want to attend

  • Summer opps are also listed in Enrichment Programs on the Colleges page in Naviance and Search “college programs, high school”

  • Continue a resume in Naviance,

  • Continue exploring careers and consider asking a community member if you can schedule an informational interview or do a job shadow. Look for PPBEA opps.

  • Continue volunteering.

  • Guardian review of the freshmen Readiness Report (progress in PWR Path).

  • Finalize summer plans (summer school, job, travel/exchange, volunteer)

  • Think about taking the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of sophomore year. Deadline to register happens at beginning of the sophomore year.

  • Time to celebrate! You are going to be sophomores!

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