By Brian Diaz, Staff Writer
Verbum Dei High School’s Open House took place on November 16, allowing prospective students and families the opportunity to see what Verbum Dei has to offer. All of the faculty and staff, student ambassadors, as well as, student representatives from active clubs on campus were present.
“It was a success; many families showed up,” said Pablo Zapotecas, Admissions Officer. “Prospective students and families had the opportunity to interact with teachers, coaches, and students.”
“Families were given the opportunity to begin their applications,” said Zapotecas. “We hope that many families take Verbum Dei into consideration. About 100 families RSVP’d, and about 60 families actually showed up.”
The College Guidance Department was perhaps one of the most important since the college acceptance rate it is the heart of the school’s reputation; Verbum Dei’s 100% college acceptance rate is a factor that attracts prospective students and their families. Mayra Rodriguez, personal counselor, and Brittany Bradley, College Guidance counselor, represented College Guidance.
“I was in the Center along with Mrs. Bradley,” said Rodriguez. “We had a few parents and students walk in. Our responsibility was to talk to parents and students about the counseling resources available to them.”
“Both Mrs. Bradley and I handed out flyers with information regarding our departments: college counseling and personal and academic counseling,” said Rodriguez. “Open House was a success because we had prospective families come in to tour the campus and to ask questions regarding classes and clubs available.”
“It gave the prospective students an opportunity to learn about student life at Verb,” said Rodriguez. “Hopefully, the event will help to determine whether Verb is a good fit for them.”
Several clubs were also present for the Open House. One of the prominent clubs present were the Jesuit Educated Disciples in Service (JEDIS). JEDIS manned a table outside the Campus Ministry office, greeted all prospective students and their parents, and informed them what Campus Ministry offers and how it supports students in their personal and spiritual growth during their time at Verb.
“While at the Open House, JEDIS discussed retreats, service trips, and what they do as JEDIS,” said Karen Chambers, Director of Campus Ministry. “I heard one mom ask the JEDIS, ‘So what do you get out of all these trips [referencing the service weekends with Xavier Prep and Cathedral Catholic, and the Navajo (Dine) Immersion Trip]?’”
”The JEDIS offered a great response, telling her how their eyes were opened to more of what goes on in our world, how they built brotherhood with one another, how they met new people, how they were introduced to new cultures, and how they came away with a stronger desire to keep serving others,” said Chambers.
Senior Ambassadors Justin Funez and Adrian Ramirez were present at the Open House. As senior ambassadors, they were responsible for greeting prospective students and families as well as helping them to begin their applications.
“The Open House went great!” said Funez. “We were able to register over 15 applications. Also, the fact that many students and teachers were there, and many clubs had their own stations made the day really fun.”
“During Open House, I had the responsibility of speaking in front of parents about my experiences at Verb and about my [Corporate Work Study Program] experience,” said Ramirez. “I also led a prayer in the gym written by Father Privett.” The two sessions shared a common welcome assembly, where several items were raffled off to those in attendance.
“While helping that Saturday, I was able to appreciate my four years at Verb,” said Ramirez. “I got to think back to when I was in 8th grade worrying about where I would go to high school. I am glad that my classmates and I were able to ease the parents and students through that big high school transition.”
“Overall it was a great success,” said William Liu, Dean of Enrollment Management. “I was very impressed and pleased with our Student Ambassadors. At the end of the day, our people and community are what attracts new prospective students and their families. With anything new there is always room for growth. I am excited to see how can improve future Open Houses. I would like to provide a theme for the Open House next year to promote it. Perhaps get more alumni involved and make it shorter. It was a team effort and I wholeheartedly believe it was very successful.”