Connections Weekly Newsletter

November 11, 2022

CLASS OF 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

We have had several questions about the advantages of applying to an honors college at your university. In many cases, after you have applied to the institution, they will invite you to apply to an honors college. Be sure to check out what it means for your specific college, but in general, an honors program can provide smaller and more rigorous courses, more interaction with faculty, early course registration, special housing, scholarships, internships, and research opportunities.

You're probably wondering how it could even be possible that your son or daughter is applying for college, when it seems like only yesterday you were dropping them off at preschool or kindergarten. The adage that time passes quickly hits you like a ton of bricks as you come to the realization that your child will soon be headed off to college to begin a new chapter in their life. Here is an article that might help you, and your child, through this process.

College Applications: Two quick reminders as you get ready to send your applications. First, recommendations - teacher and counselor - need to be made 2 weeks in advance of the deadline. Second, if you complete a transcript request through a college website, you must also make a request through Naviance. All transcript requests must be made in Naviance after applying to the college.

CLASS OF 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

One of the first and most important steps that you’ll take when beginning the college application process is creating a college list. All the hard work, test prep, and essay writing in the world won’t do you any good if you’re applying to colleges that aren’t right for you. Here is an article to help you start your search.

Most high school students are advised to take the SAT in spring of their junior year. As a part of state testing, all juniors will have the opportunity to take the SAT during the school in April. Scores from this test day can be used for college admission. To ensure students finalize their college list based on official SAT results, students should plan to have prepared for and taken 2 back-to-back SATs, so they’ll have scores they’re proud of in hand before they have to fill out applications. This also reduces stress because it frees up time the summer before senior year so they can get a jump on their applications for colleges and scholarships. Here is an article to help plan your testing strategy.

CLASS OF 2025 and 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

Here is a link to the Freshmen Year Checklist to help stay aware of some of the monthly “milestones.”

FAFSA application for 2023-24 school year is NOW OPEN

Connections team is willing to schedule some FAFSA help sessions for our families. If you are interested, please complete this quick form.

If you have not yet completed the FAFSA, here are a few tips and videos to help with the process. Feel free to connect with me, Ms. Peters or your senior advisor Skip Zickmund with any questions.

FAFSA Myth: It’s so hard to complete the FAFSA; there is no help available.

Where to create a FAFSA account. you will specify a role and be prompted to create an FSA ID

How to create an FSA ID. Parent/Guardian AND student must create their own FSA ID!

SAVE your FSA ID, username, and password somewhere secure. You’ll need It every year!

You will need to confirm via email and cellphone.

At the end of the process, you will see a confirmation success of account/FSA ID creation.

FAQ about the FAFSA

If you will be working on completing your FAFSA over the break, here are some common mistakes families make. Recommendation: Always review your document for accuracy BEFORE submitting. Why fill out the FAFSA? It's the gateway to more than $150 billion in college grants, work-study funds, and federal student loans, as well as certain state-based aid.

Why Digital Skills are Imperative

As the job market evolves, employees are expected to keep up with the latest digital skills. Here’s how to keep learning on the job and stay competitive. Click here for more details.

Naviance at a Glance

Naviance is a website for students and families to access online resources, communicate with Connections staff, and for Connections advisors to work with students on career and college readiness activities. This Naviance Quick Guide gives an overview of the variety of tools that Naviance provides for student success after high school through academic, career, and college planning


Connections, Room 1104

* Tuesday, 11/15 10:30, BINGO
* Tuesday, 11/15 11:50, Abilene Christian University
* Tuesday, 11/15 2:10, University of Arizona

In the Community

Pikes Peak WorkForce Center Job Fair, Thursday, November 17 from 11 am – 2 pm. Located at the Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., Colorado Springs.

Enrichment Opportunities

Interested in fashion? Want to delve into the world of fashion before you decide what you’ll study in college? Parsons Paris has created online courses for students 13 and up to introduce them to this vibrant field. They offer need-based scholarships to students exhibiting great potential who are unable to pay full tuition. Apply here for online courses and scholarships.

Teen Life offers a variety of free resources for teens and their parents. Check out these upcoming virtual fairs: Gap Year on November 17 from 4:00-7:00 and Summer Opportunities on December 15 from 4:00-7:00.

EHL Hospitality Business School is offering Pre-university Courses during the 2023 summer. The focus of many sessions is hospitality, but these unique courses are suitable for any student aged 14 – 19 (from 16 only for on-campus camps) with an interest in business, management, luxury, sustainability as well as culinary arts.

Scholarships and Incentive Programs

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. The Coolidge Foundation invites one hundred of the top Coolidge Scholarship applicants to participate in the Coolidge Senators Program, which includes an all-expenses-paid summit gathering and a $1,000 scholarship. Scholarship applicants are automatically considered for the Senators Program. Deadline to apply is February 23, 2023.

The 18-88 Football Scholarship was established in honor of former Denver Bronco Demarius Thomas by Peyton Manning in partnership with the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. This $10,000 scholarship is for a senior football player in the state of Colorado who has faced and overcome adversity in his or her life. Apply by January 31, 2023.

Pinnacol Foundation scholarship program is accepting applications for students who are children of workers who were injured or killed in a compensable work-related accident in Colorado and who were entitled to benefits under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. Applications may be submitted between Nov. 1 and Feb. 15 each year. For more information and to apply, visit

TheDream.US at MSU Denver is the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant students with or without DACA or TPS. This scholarship will cover tuition and fees up to $33,000 for a Bachelor’s degree at MSU Denver. In addition, students may also be eligible for an additional stipend of up to $1000/year for books, supplies, and transportation. Apply here. Deadline February 28.

Career Focus - Computer Science

Your future will exist of multiple opportunities and pathways. Read about one professor’s Computer Science journey.

College Highlights

If you are interested in small Midwestern colleges that save you money, check out this affordable small college list from Peter Pitts, owner of

Interested in film? Want to study in another country? Explore the Northern Film School in Leeds, England. They offer BA Filmmaking, MA Documentary Filmmaking, MA Film Curation and Exhibition, and MA Screenwriting: Feature Film and Continuing Series.

Would you like to kick off your college career with a different kind of adventure? Lehigh Launch can take you to an iconic part of the world—Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands or Wyoming and New Mexico—for an immersive first semester of field-based and classroom learning. This experiential, first-semester program is led by Lehigh faculty and staff, features Lehigh courses, and is open to students in any major. Apply here.

Things to Know

1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home

by Harry H. Harrison Jr.

Keeping a Job and Getting Promoted

199. They should know to always let the boss know what they’re doing. Don’t assume bosses know.

211. They should know to learn the janitor’s name.

221. They should know how to figure things out on their own. Most of the world’s secrets can be unlocked with Google, determination, and coffee.

234. They should know to find a mentor at the office who can champion their cause. This is how careers are launched.

259. They should know to not be afraid of changing jobs. Be afraid of losing their passion.

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