Connections Weekly Newsletter

March 10, 2023

The PPBEA Summer Internship Programs are returning for 2023. They will have internships in the following career pathways: Culinary & Hospitality, Cybersecurity & Computer Science, and Business & Social Impact and Skilled Trades. See Ms. Peters with any questions.

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

AP exams are just 8 weeks away; it’s never too early to start reviewing. The College Board offers study guides and review exams to help you prepare. Here is a link to the College Board resources.

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.

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

AP exams are just 8 weeks away; it’s never too early to start reviewing. The College Board offers study guides and review exams to help you prepare. Here is a link to the College Board resources.

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.

Class 2025 - Advisor Joanna Peters

This week’s lesson was PWR Explore: Sophomores were introduced to a myriad of resources to explore as they strive to learn more about an area of interest for them. The Joy of Learning has been a foundation for TCA since our beginning; a habit of lifelong learning is necessary for future work. Each student saved a tracking spreadsheet to their OneDrive and were encouraged to share the spreadsheet link with their team: family, coach, mentor, friend, along with an encouragement to help them find cool stuff. An email with links for exploration was sent to each student and is included here.

All Grades

Our Connections team recommends the following steps for EVERY grade level:

  • Read our weekly newsletter--sent every Friday to IC emails and student school emails. Take action.

  • SAVE programs of interest to an EXPLORATION Spreadsheet. Specify if it is an option in your later years of high school, along with the link to the program.

  • SAVE potential future scholarships to a SCHOLARSHIP spreadsheet. Include links, deadlines, and amount.

  • Immediately sign up for events and programs of interest WHILE you read the newsletter! Add to calendar!

  • Sign up for and attend career and college visits during and after school hours. Sign up in Naviance.

  • Consider Copying this iCal link to add the Connections Family calendar to your personal calendar

  • Create and follow a personal budget Start now to be prepared for later.

Connections Event Calendar

Throughout the year we announce career and college opportunity exploration in our center and the community. We understand that often high school students roll with the moment BUT we would like to have your support in encouraging them to sign up and attend. Each of these might only happen once in a few years. All of these opportunities are imported to a GOOGLE calendar that ANYONE can add to their personal calendar. This is the ical link: Connections Event Calendar

Here are short videos to walk you through the process. Video: HOW to add to your GOOGLE calendar

Video: HOW TO Add to your Outlook Calendar

Students can sign up in Naviance, under What’s New and get a pass sent to them, or stop by Connections for a pass.

Note: The link on our webpage is an iCAL link and DOES NOT open to the calendar. You import the link into your calendar.

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, 3/14 10:30, BINGO
* Friday, 3/17 9:35, Colorado Christian University
* Friday, 3/17 10:30, Career Chat: Rachel Walter – Interior Design

In the Community

Nursing Information Sessions at Pikes Peak State College, Monday March 13 from 1-3pm and Friday April 21 from 10am-12pm at the Rampart Range Campus. Learn more about the program, discuss the different types of nursing and have your questions answered.

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 provide. Register here.

Enrichment Opportunities


Interested in STEM? Check out these competitions!

Interested in accounting? Complete this digital course and be entered into a scholarship drawing.

Interested in the path to becoming a pilot? Check out this Southwest Airlines program:

At GCFGlobal program, you can learn the essential skills you need to live and work in the 21st century with their free self-paced online courses in 200+ topics including computer and job search skills.

Interested in Game Design? Want to learn Unity Game Development? For the next 4 days, three hands-on courses from Zenva are free.

Illionois Tech Elevate College Prep summer programs provide students with hands-on learning, mentorship, and career exposure in STEM and other dynamic fields. Topics include sustainability, next-generation technology, computing and security, game development, cybersecurity, pre-law, robotics, business, architecture, and more.

The University of Rochester is offering Pre-College Online Programs allowing students to explore their passions including Biomedical Engineering, Video Game Design, and Human Genetics.

Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications is offering a Sports Media Camp from June 7-10. Campers will work a live sporting event, learning the basics of play-by-play and reporting for both broadcast and print media.

Scholarships and More

The Society of Women Engineers - Pikes Peak Section awards scholarships to women from Southern Colorado (zip codes 80800 - 81599) who are embarking upon or are continuing an engineering degree. Deadline to apply is March 31.

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy Scholarship awards over $14 million in scholarships each year to help more artists realize their dreams. AMDA scholarships are institutionally funded talent, need and/or merit-based awards which are given to students based on the results of the audition, application and FAFSA.

Are you interested in nursing? Click here for a way to not only pay your tuition but receive a living stipend!!

Career Focus - Natural Resources/Automotive Tech/Sustainable Engineering

Click here for careers in Natural Resources.

Interested in Automotive tech, collision repair and refinishing, or diesel technology? Check out WyoTech.

Sustainable Engineering: Want to help save the planet? A career in engineering might be what you’re looking for. The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, recently opened North America’s most sustainable building. The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability uses wood destroyed by mountain pine beetles, draws power from the sun, and recycles rainwater for drinking. Read More

College News

Whitman College is now offering a new concentration in Human-Centered Design which engages critical thinking skills and equips students to create solutions to complex problems. Other recently approved programs include a neuroscience major—Brain, Behavior & Cognition—and a philosophy major in Ethics & Society.

Are you interested in Swarthmore College? Would you be interested in their fly-in program? If you meet their admission requirements and are interested in being nominated, stop by Connections to chat with Ms. Peters.

Students can experience classes at Oklahoma State University through their new video series, The Front Row. The Front Row puts students inside the classroom alongside OSU students for a sample lecture on topics ranging from Principles of Marketing to our most recent, Stormwater: What's the Solution?

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