A total of 18 students got a head start to the school year in the College of the Mainland bridge program, which eased freshmen students' transition to college through discovering campus resources, meeting staff and learning study skills tips.

Plus, students with perfect attendance were entered into a drawing for COM Foundation scholarships to cover textbooks.

Hunter Morris and Gladys Flores Hernandez won $500 COM Foundation scholarships for books, and Angela Rebolloso won a COM Foundation scholarship covering all her books for the semester.

“I was able to get a $200 textbook. Without the scholarship, I probably wouldn’t have been able to get that,” said Morris.

Students and recent graduates from Dickinson, Santa Fe, Texas City, La Marque and Hitchcock schools applied and were accepted into the program.

“We were able to learn all the parts of the college and how we can get free tutoring. We know how to get resources from the library. We started our resumes so they helped us with that," said Rebolloso, of Dickinson. “We were able to not just make friends by make relationships with workers here to see who to go to.”

The final day the students visited Houston Baptist University and the Holocaust Museum.

“We met a lot of people. I have friends from Dickinson and Texas City and we probably wouldn’t have met otherwise," said Morris, 18, who graduated this year from Santa Fe High School.

The program is designed to help students succeed in college through learning tips from staff and where to turn for help.  

“The students received academic instruction through our Psychology for Success curriculum, and they would spend time exploring campus resources and hearing presentations from faculty about the various academic programs,” said Tamara Hoodye-Harris, Director of Admissions and Records. 

The bridge program is an extension of the College Connections Program launched this year. The program places a COM advisor at each high school in the college’s service area to help students with the financial aid, admissions and scholarship application process for whichever college they choose.

COM Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since 1972 College of the Mainland Foundation has been making a difference in the lives of students by helping fund their education. 

For more information, visit www.com.edu/college-connections. For more information on the COM Foundation, visit www.com.edu/com-foundation.