Release Date: 
Thursday, October 5, 2023

Largest Discover Day brings 1,100 metro-area high school students to HFC

Students seated on stairs and the Hawkster's arms are held out.

More than 1,100 enthusiastic students from 30 area high schools attended Discover Day at HFC on Sept. 22. Discover Day is HFC’s largest on-campus annual event that allows students to explore opportunities related to academic programs, careers, transfer pathways, and student life at HFC.

Students toured campus on a beautiful day, learning more about the academic and career/trades programs HFC offers, connecting with student organizations and clubs, speaking to student athletes about sports at HFC, meeting new people, playing games, posing for photos with the Hawkster, and more.

“This is the largest Discover Day we have hosted at the College,” said HFC Admissions Recruiter Kristine Rouleau, who coordinated Discover Day. “Many HFC team members really came together to make it a success. I’m very happy with the turnout and the event.”

Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) Career Counselor Paul Carlin was very impressed by Discover Day.

"Our students gained so much from Discover Day," said Carlin. "The opportunity to walk around HFC’s campus and explore programs firsthand was invaluable. This event gives students much-needed information, while having fun and experiencing what it’s like to be on a college campus. The memories they create remind them HFC is a great college option."

“The very best version of yourself”

After attending the pep rally led by HFC Career Services Officer Chad Austin to kick off the day’s festivities, the students headed indoors, where Dr. Michael Nealon and Kelly Baratono gave a “Head, Heart, and Hands” presentation about career paths connected to their greatest abilities.

“You can earn $1 million more over the course of your career by getting a college education,” said Nealon. “Your FutureDriven journey starts today at HFC. It links together who you have been, who you are today, and who you have the power to become tomorrow. We want to help you become the best version of yourself.”

Changing students' mindset through firsthand experience

Latonia Gee, Dean of Students at the Detroit Public Safety Academy, has attended Discover Day three times. Four of her students who attended last year’s Discover Day are now students at HFC.

“I enjoy bringing my students to HFC. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming,” said Gee. “Discover Day changes the mindset of students who do not understand the concept of what a community college is and its function. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have gone to Eastern Michigan University directly out of high school; I would have gone to a community college first and then transferred to EMU.”

“Some students come with an idea of what programs they want to see, and some arrive unsure but leave inspired by an experience or conversation they had while here,” said Rouleau. “It's important to let students see what our College has to offer firsthand. It makes it more accessible, familiar, and less intimidating. Hopefully they can see themselves as future Hawks and feel excited about HFC. I am really proud of the work and care that goes into Discover Day. It's so rewarding when students tell me they learned a lot AND had fun!”