High school students studying on a college campus want to have fun too.
Pathways Middle College juniors and seniors are no exception. They are looking forward to dancing the night away at the prom May 2 at the Fresh Sound Lounge, at SW 59th and Walker Place.
School Director Christopher McAdoo said he wants the students to still have the high school atmosphere that other students their age do.
Pathways high school occupies part of the third floor of OCCC’s main building. Most of the 33 juniors and seniors are enrolled in college coursework.
“We want it to be the true high school experience, but with the rigor of college,” McAdoo said. “We are doing more and more to make it that way. In the past it has been all academics.”
The prom will allow seniors enjoy one last celebration together before graduation, after which they will take separate roads in life.
McAdoo said the 33 juniors and seniors are allowed to take a sophomore, junior, senior as their date, or a date who has already graduated from high school.
If students have a date from outside of Pathways, they are required to complete a form and go through an interview with McAdoo. The process is like any other high school’s, which is something Pathways is proud of.
Pathways has a duchess and duke for the sophomores that attend, a princess and prince for the juniors, and a queen and king for the seniors. The voting is done at the beginning of prom. Once the winners are announced, they have their own dance together.
Plans are being made — in the age-old tradition.
Javier Merendon, 17, is a junior at Pathways. He said he is taking a classmate as his date. His tux will be gray with a black shirt to match her black dress. Merendon said they are going to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse for dinner before the prom. Merendon attended last year as a sophomore and won duke.
“It’s a bigger deal to the seniors since it’s the last time they’ll be together and afterwards they won’t see each other very much,” Merendon said.
Osvaldo Gomez, 18, is a senior who said he looks forward to prom this year. Last year he took a date from Pathways, but this year his date attends Santa Fe South. They plan on going to dinner after prom so they don’t feel so sluggish during it.
“I won prince last year,” Gomez said. “Not to be overly confident or anything, but I think I’ll win king this year.
“Last year everyone just kind of looked at who was dressed the best or who do you just like the most.”
Their parents aren’t allowed to be in attendance, unlike some high schools. This makes some students happy. Merendon said it’s nice not to have to worry about mom or whoever watching you dance.
“We can be ourselves,” he said.
Gomez said it would be nice if they could have more students there, since the classes are so small, but he wouldn’t change anything else overall.
The funds for the prom come from doing different fundraisers throughout the year, McAdoo said. The students have had many bake sales. Most OCCC students probably have noticed them set up by the Communications Lab.
McAdoo said the students should have an enjoyable evening together.