May 31, 2022

August 31st, 2023

9th grade Students and Families,

Hello from the College and Career Department at Animas High School! My name is Erin Cummins-Roper, and I am the Dean of College and Career Counseling. The role of the the College and Career department at AHS is to work to prepare all students at AHS for college and postsecondary success. We do this is a variety of ways through all four years of high school: career exploration and self-discovery, exposure to postsecondary opportunities through college visit and college fairs, exposue to the work of work through service projects and internships, and individual support. I have been a postsecondary advisor/counselor since 2008 and I am passionate about providing equitable access to postsecondary educational opportunities to all students, regardless of their background or resources. For a little bit more insight into my philosophy of postsecondary counseling, you can read this Durango Herald Editorial that I wrote last year. I look forward to getting to know all of you over the course of the next four years!

This is the first of our bi-monthly College and Career department newsletters. In these newsletters you will find information about: upcoming college and career events, scholarship and financial aid information, resources for help with the college search process, information about employment, internships, and other postsecondary opportunities. These bi-weekly newsletters will also include a postsecondary planning checklist appropriate to your grade level. This is a list of To-Do items that you should be working on each month. I spend a significant amount of time on the newsletter and it is intended to be a comprehensive resource for you - Please take the time to read it thoroughly! The bi-weekly newsletters will be posted to the College and Career department page on the Animas High School website, which is also a great source for resources and information about the college and postsecondary process.

It is my pleasure to welcome Elliot Baglini to the College and Career counseling department as our new Work-Based Learning coordinator. Elliot and I will be coordinating the 9th grade career fair and career field trips together this year. He will also work with 9th graders individually on academic planning and course selection in the Spring. We were able to spend some time introducing ourselves to the 9th grade last week during orientation discussing Choices that Successful students make and working with students to do some self reflection and individual goal setting around successful choices they plan to make this year. Welcome Elliot!

Please mark your calendar for 9th grade student & Family postsecondary night on Wednesday, Nov. 8th from 5:30pm - 7:00pm

During this meeting we will discuss in depth:

  • What does postsecondary planning look like at Animas High School-an overview of what we do at each grade level to prepare students for college and postsecondary success. What will we be doing this year at Animas and what should you be thinking about and doing on your own to prepare for life after high school?
  • Academic planning - choosing high school classes with our postsecondary goals in mind
  • Financial planning for postsecondary education - how are we going to pay?

Elliot and I hold office hours during the following days/times. Feel free to reach out to either of us to schedule a time to discuss your postsecondary planning questions:

Erin's office hours

These office hours are open to all students/parents & caregivers (no appointment needed):

  • T/TH from 1:00-3:00pm
  • Fridays 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Financial Fridays (scholarship and financial aid specific office hours) from 12:00-3:00pm
  • Or Schedule an appointment HERE

Elliot's office hours:

T/Fri 1:00pm-3:30pm

Click HERE to schedule an individual appointment 9th & 10th 11th (for LINK) and Senior Transfers (for LINK)

Elliot and I are looking forward to another year of helping AHS students take the next steps toward their goals for life after high school! Please take advantage of us as a resource - we are here for you!

Click for the College & Career Events Calendar

TRIO Upward Bound - accepting applications!

Are you a 9th grader who will be the First in your Family to earn a 4-year college degree? Would you like to learn about a FREE program that will provide you with additional support to prepare for and get into college? You should check out Trio Upward Bound!

Click HERE to apply, or email Tess Marriott at [email protected] for more info.

9th Grade Postsecondary planning:

what you should be thinking about right now

  1. Grades: Do well and challenge yourself in your classes - Colleges will look at your cumultive GPA as well as grades in your individual classes. Even if you are not sure whether or not you plan to go to a 4-year college, a 2-year college, or a trade school or other training program, getting good grades now will ensure that you have options when the time comes.
  2. Extracurricular Activities: Get involved in something outside of the classroom! Explore your interests and strengths through extracurricular activities! Doing things in addition to school can help you gain new skills such as time management, organization, leadership, and problem solving. Plus you might make some new friends!
  3. College Research: It's never too early to start gathering information! Attend college visits at AHS and College Fairs whenever possible (see below for two in-person college fairs and links to virtual fairs!) - Start to build a knowledge base about what is out there. Chat with college representatives when they visit AHS to learn about what colleges are like so you can start to figure yout what YOU like and are looking for. Check the College and Career Events calendar regularly for upcoming college visits.

Regional College Fair at DHS

What: Colleges from CO, NM, UT, WY, MT, and AZ will be at Durango High School to talk to YOU!

When: Sept. 19th, 6:00pm-7:00pm *this is different than the date on the flyer distributed at the back to school open house and is the correct date

Why? Talk to admissions representatives to learn about different colleges and their offerings to help you form an idea of what you're looking for in a college. Learn about what is out there for you!


We will be taking 20 students on a visit to Colorado Mesa University and the Western Slope College Fair in Aspen!

When: Saturday, Sept. 30th-Sunday, Oct. 1st

Details: Transportation, lodging, and meals provided.

Depart Animas High School Saturday morning, tour CMU Saturday afternoon, stay in Glenwood Springs Saturday night, attend Western Slope College Fair Sunday, return home Sunday evening.

Cost: $50/student, students who qualify for the USDA free and reduced lunch program attend for free. Students who do not qualify for F&R lunch but for whom the cost would present a barrier to attending can indicate this on the interest form.

Want to go? Fill out this interest form. Spaces will be first come, first served with Juniors and Seniors getting priority if the trip fills up.

Parents/Caregivers: Interested in chaperoning? We could use an additional driver or two, particularly to transport students' bags. Please email Erin CR @ [email protected] to sign up. Additionally, if you'd like to donate funds to sponsor a student, we welcome your donation!

DENVER - In Person

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

2023 Fall Denver NCF 

More Info

Sunday, September 10, 2023, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

2023 Virtual College Fair -SeptemberMore Info

Sunday, October 15, 2023, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

2023 Virtual College Fair -OctoberMore Inf

Sunday, November 12, 2023, 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM

2023 Virtual College Fair -NovemberMore Info

FAFSA Completion is now a Graduation Requirement at AHS

In Spring 2023, AHS was awarded a Fund my Future grant through the Colorado Dept. of Eduation to provide college-going support and increase the number of students who complete a student aid application (FAFSA/CASFA) before graduating high school. The Fund My Future Grant requires that all students at Animas High School complete the FAFSA or complete this waiver during their senior year.

As part of our increased effort to improve the number of students at AHS who complete the FAFSA, we will hold Paying for College Workshops for all grade levels, and assist students and families in using financial aid forcaster tools to gain a better understanding of what types of financial aid they might qualify for when the time comes and how to plan for postsecondary education with your individual financial situtaion in mind.


The purpose of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Commission is to involve youth participation in city government as stated in the Children, Youth, and Family Master Plan resolution that the City Council adopted in March 2009. The goal is to create opportunities for meaningful youth involvement, to develop citizenship skills in Durango’s youth, foster greater understanding of their concerns and contributions, and encourage greater youth participation in community issues.

Erin Cummins-Roper (she/her)

Director of Career & College Counseling  

Animas High School |Tel: (970) 247-2474 | x2335 | Cell: 970-903-1617 

Schedule an appointment with me!

Office hours:

T/TH 1:00pm-3:00pm

Fridays: 9:00am-12:00pm

Financial aid and scholarship help every Friday 12:00pm-3:00pm

Animas High School prepares all students for college and postsecondary success by creating critical thinkers and engaged citizens through an innovative, student-centered, project-based curriculum. We accomplish this through:
Rigorous academics, where all students are prepared for college success
Culture of excellence, where students are held to high expectations
Strong student-faculty relationships, where students are well known.
Engaging learning, where students see the relevance in their education

Facebook  Instagram