BOWIE – For 10 years, the North Central Texas College Bowie campus has hosted a College Bound Kids program to educate Montague County fifth graders about the educational opportunities that await them after high school.
But as Bowie resident Lisa Martin can attest, it’s not just the children who learn.
Two years ago, her son Kolbi went through the one-day program with his classmates. He learned about such things as the NCTC Petroleum Technology program and the nursing program. When he got home, he told his mom all about what he had heard and seen and showed her a packet he had received about the school.
They had just moved to Bowie and Martin wasn’t familiar with the college. She admits when she moved to town, she didn’t even know that there was a college campus in Bowie.
So she listened to her son and it peaked an interest in something she had already been thinking about – returning to school.
“I had known for a long time that I wanted to do nursing, but (Kolbi) was just really excited and he told me everything that he saw, and the next day I came and signed up,” she said.
On Wednesday, when this year’s group of fifth graders came to the campus to take part in the program, Martin was there as one of the student helpers.
She and other NCTC students gave demonstrations about different departments at the college and classes offered on the Bowie campus. She joined other Anatomy and Physiology students in giving the fifth graders an up-close view of the inner anatomy of a cat. The students also toured the Petroleum Technology lab, got to look through microscopes, visited the nursing lab, and were able to ask questions of current NCTC students.
“(The program) doesn’t just reach the children, it reaches anyone in the family that might be looking to go to school or earn a degree,” she said.
Martin will transfer to the NCTC Gainesville campus in the fall semester to complete her Associate’s Degree in Nursing. She then plans to get a Bachelor’s degree, most likely from Midwestern State University.
She is grateful for the opportunities that NCTC has given her and recommends that others, no matter their age, check into what the college has to offer to help a person better their life.
“I love this school,” she said. “It may be small here, but everyone is so nice and they make you feel very welcome and if you need help with anything, it’s there.”
After the last fifth-grade students left the campus on Wednesday, the staff and student helpers celebrated the 10th anniversary of the program. In those 10 years, more than a thousand fifth graders have taken part in the event.
“So many of them are our regular students now and remember very well when they visited a college campus for the first time right here in Bowie,” said Dr. Emily Klement, NCTC Associate Vice-President of Academic Partnerships and the Bowie and Graham Campuses. “The Bowie faculty and staff have taken it to new levels and believe in it wholeheartedly. I am so proud of them.”