OGDEN -- Being in high school and figuring out where to go to college and how to pay for it can be tough for any student. But if the student is considered low-income, an ethnic minority or a first-generation college student, the task can be even harder.
Adrian Tinajero, coordinator of the Weber State University Multicultural Youth Conference, said many of those who fit into those three categories often don't know how to connect to resources at colleges or apply for scholarship and grant programs that would allow them to go to school.
And those who fit in those demographics make up a large percentage of the immediate area.
"You look at Ogden, Davis and Weber, the demographic is heavily influenced by those characteristics," he said.
WSU held its 16th annual Multicultural Youth Conference on Wednesday to help high school juniors and seniors interested in going to college make the right connections to get there.
The conference helps by getting them onto a college campus and connecting them with the financial and academic resources they need, Tinajero said.
"It's tailored to them," he said.
More than 560 students from Weber and Davis counties registered for the conference, Tinajero said, and about 100 more kids walked into the conference on Wednesday without being registered.
Tinajero said this has been their best turnout so far for the conference. He said in years past, they usually have about 200 students who attend the conference go to college, but he hopes that number will increase this year with new ways they are connecting with students using technology.
"Everyone who is registered, we will be following up with afterwards," he said.
Ben Lomond High School seniors Alyssa Salazar and Quincie Brown each said they attended the conference to learn more about the school and how to get a scholarship.
"I need to know what I am getting myself into," Brown said.
Salazar said she already knew she was college-bound before she came to the conference, but thought the information being presented would be valuable as she makes important decisions on what to do after graduation.
"I've decided," she said. "It's just now deciding where to go and how to pay for it."