While University of Central Arkansas students were taking their last classes of the week and packing up to go on spring break trips, a different variety of students toured the campus, seeing what college was all about.

More that 150 seventh through 12th graders went to UCA Friday to participate in March to College where they learned about succeeding in college, the role college plays in the future and what a college experience may include.

The group facilitating the tour is Choosing to Excel, an organization whose mission is "to educate and encourage youth who are making healthy choices, to provide tools for change for youth and families, while advocating on behalf of those who want a fresh start one life at a time."

Students got to tour UCA’s campus, talk to current UCA students and meet with university officials about what impact going to college could have.

"It’s not just about going to college," said Gilbert Baker, UCA executive assistant to the president. "It’s about working hard."

Christina Munoz, UCA associate vice president for communications, public relations and marketing, asked the students what they wanted to be when they grew up.

"A chef!" one student answered. "A basketball player!" another added. "A Marine!" one exclaimed.

"This is what you need to start the ball rolling," Munoz said of going to college. "It’s all about the connections you make and the people you meet here."

She also encouraged the students to make a plan for their life; a plan that hopefully involved going to college.

"You don’t have to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life," she said. "But make a plan. Make sure you know your plan."

Caroline Greer with Choosing to Excel said the March to College was one way to show the students that college was a reasonable and achievable goal.

"We do it to ignite the fire in them, to show them, ‘I can do this.’"

(Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached by email at angela.spencer@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1212. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)