Earning a higher education can transform lives. It can lead to a career designing cool video games, engineering innovative prosthetics for children, healing illnesses, performing on stage in front of thousands, launching a business or perhaps even curing cancer.

Getting high school students to dream is not the problem. Getting them excited and ready to start their careers in college is, and that’s why UCF and Evans High School ● A Community School are teaming up at UCF Takeover Week Oct. 12-16.

UCF students, faculty, administrators and volunteers will spend time at Evans this week helping students envision college as part of their future and then showing them the tools and roadmaps to get there.

Organizers are also delivering another message: College can be fun.

Knightro, UCF’s mascot, the UCF cheerleaders and the band will all perform at Evans as a way to showcase the fun side of college life. More than 30 student organizations will talk to students about the kinds of clubs and activities they can pursue from dance to engineering. Evans students also will get an opportunity to listen to UCF admissions and financial aid officers talk about getting ready for college, successfully navigating the admissions process, and payment options.

“This is about connecting with students and families in our community and making sure they know that higher education can very much be part of their future,” said Michael Frumkin, dean of the UCF College of Health and Public Affairs. The college played a major role in organizing the event along with UCF’s Student Development and Enrollment Services division. “We want all students to know we are here for them and to help them best prepare for a successful journey to college.”

Last year, 15 UCF students were volunteer mentors to ninth-graders at Evans, offering the teens support and guidance for success in life. UCF Takeover Week is another way to introduce more UCF students to Evans. Organizers hope the event will also inspire them and others in the community to become mentors and to continue delivering the message that college is accessible.

And because getting to college isn’t just up to students, UCF is also hosting a parent-information session at Evans from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15.

During the session parents can watch several panel presentations about the admissions process, paying for college, and the benefits of alternative pathways to college, such as ROTC and DirectConnect to UCF.

Students and parents also will get the opportunity to see some of the innovative things students at UCF are doing, including designing computer games, engineering devices that help the disabled, and much more.

A schedule of events:


11-12:30 p.m.: Kickoff with performances by Knightro, UCF cheerleaders and dance team

2:30-4:45 p.m.: Cultural fair featuring 12 UCF clubs including Black Student Union, Colombian Student Association and Giving Back Evans Alumni.


11-12:30 p.m.: Outreach and mentoring of students

2:30-4:45 p.m.: Nine different sessions on everything from undergraduate admissions to academic resources at UCF


11-12:30 p.m.: Greek organizations

5-7 p.m.: Parent information session


11-12:30 p.m.: Student leadership opportunities at UCF and performance by UCF Band.