Thomas Co. Schools gives students a ‘taste’ of college

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) – Hoping to reach high schoolers’ minds through their stomachs, meal options this week were there to help them learn about education options after graduation.

The new weeklong school event called “Taste of College” made its way into the cafeteria of Thomas County Central High School. Five Georgia colleges were chosen to share their signature meal with the high school students.

Chicken and red velvet cake were a part of UGA’s signature meal they shared with the high school.(WALB)

Administrators said this will help students decide what college is best for them.

“Definitely think this has allowed our students to know more about the universities in our state, just through eating a delicious meal from those universities. So, we’re excited to see where this might take some of our students,” said Erin Turistg, assistant principal at Thomas County Central High School.

Directory said the event has created excitement throughout the school.
Directory said the event has created excitement throughout the school.(WALB)

Some of the featured colleges included ABAC and Georgia State University, where meals like beef medallions were shared from.

Lauren Duplantis, school nutrition director for Thomas County Schools, organized the event and said it was easy to connect education with students’ love for food.

“Who doesn’t get excited about food? So, we wanted them to see what lies ahead for them. The recipes, and dishes that each of these schools are known for, and to really kind of end this year on a high note for our students,” she said.

Duplantis mentioned that lunch lines were longer than usual and that the event also promoted school nutrition as the students got a chance to try new healthy food choices.

“So this week, we’ve definitely been able to try some new menu items and do things a little bit outside of the norm for us here in school nutrition. But the best part about it is based on the feedback we’ve gotten from the students; we now have new recipes that we can incorporate into our menus every day,” she said.

Duplantis said the new event will be hosted again next school year.
Duplantis said the new event will be hosted again next school year.(WALB)

And some students couldn’t help but take advantage of the change in the lunch menu.

Sophomore Ransom Young said the event helped him get a hands-on experience with each college.

“It’s given me an opportunity to see what these colleges have to offer food, and it’s also made me research these colleges to see what they have,” he said.

Although Freshman Jordan Ross has a while until he graduates, he said that tasting each meal inspired him to look at other options although he feels strongly about Georgia Tech.

“It helped me a lot. I mean, I’m thinking about going to one of these five schools now and the food was really good,” he said.

Students were eager to yell 'Go Bulldogs' as they got a chance to try the university's...
Students were eager to yell ‘Go Bulldogs’ as they got a chance to try the university’s signature meal.(WALB)

Senior Ashleigh Dodge has already chosen to attend UGA and said the Taste of College event gave her a head start on what she can expect in the fall.

“It’s definitely made me a lot more excited because I get to taste the food. It kind of gives me a preemptive of what I’m going to be expecting next year,” she said.

Administrators said the new lunch project will become an annual tradition.

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