The CEC Communications staff recently caught up with Colette Rondon, a full-time CEC student in her junior year. She is currently in the film class, and aspires to be a writer and journalist. This is what she had to say about her experiences at CEC:
Why did you choose CEC?
Well because my older sister came and I saw her become a leader through this school and I saw her go through the film program as well, and how she found her niche and how she came in not knowing what she wanted and now she’s about to graduate next year (from college) and be a film editor. And now I’ve had the opportunity to go through a bunch of programs now and I was even in the video games program, something that I actually never even thought of before, that’s something that’s so new to CEC and to Colorado in general and high schools, and I absolutely loved it.
What is your favorite thing about CEC?
How the teachers really communicate with you and it’s really a family here. I mean, all the teachers talk to you even if you’re not in their class. Mr. Bell (Asst. Principal), he’ll even come up and just start talking to me, making sure everything is okay with me. They are all focused on you. If you have issues, all the teachers have tutoring and office hours, it’s really like college-level classes. Even if it’s not officially honors, it’s challenging.
How has CEC helped you start reaching your goals?
Just because of the college classes—the fact that if I can test into it, I can do it. And because the career classes, like film, it’s so close to what I want to do. Because being a journalist I’ll have to talk to people, know how to interview them, get them on camera and make them feel comfortable around me. It’s just really amazing how I can do that now and just being around people and getting comfortable talking in front of them and everything. And in my business class they actually introduced me to the Goodwill mentorship. And because of that I am a Goodwill Ambassador and they’ve just now nominated me for this award in the spring—The Bright Future Award. So now I’m hoping for that. It’s a really great honor.
CEC has also shown me all the skills I have and how I can adapt to all the different careers that I’ve been in. I never wanted to do fashion, but I did and found out that I was pretty good at it. Apparently, I’m pretty good at the multimedia and graphic design because I did well in that class too. Then I did business too and it was just so amazing to do that. I’ve had the opportunity to take five different career classes at CEC, which has been really neat.
How have you done something real at CEC?
With my film class we actually went to the Telluride Film Festival and that’s a really prestigious film festival. I actually met some famous actors and you get to hear these people talk about their inspiration and why they made their movies. And I got to do so much photography because we were in the middle of the mountains. I learned so much and was just humbled by it.
How do you think CEC is different than the other high schools?
The class sizes. We only have 400 or so full-time students so the teachers can give you more one-on-one attention. There aren’t really cliques here, you can talk to any of the students, we help each other on homework; everyone gets along with everyone. We have the Gay-Straight Alliance here and so many other clubs. Everyone just gets along. It’s a really safe school and that’s what I love about it. That’s another reason I came here. It’s a safe environment that I feel comfortable in. I can just get along with people and not feel threatened or feel like I’m going to be shunned by my peers.