A successful student with plans on launching a career in marketing, Nico Poalillo could have gotten into numerous four-year universities had he wanted. The San Dieguito Academy graduate had good grades, helped raise thousands of dollars for water filters going to Nicaragua, and he was doing social media work as an unpaid intern for two well-known companies.
Nico chose MiraCosta College instead. He’ll be attending the San Elijo Campus in Cardiff this fall.
He has no regrets.
“It’s absolutely incredible,” the 18-year-old Encinitas resident said of his experiences at the campus so far. “Everybody I’ve come into contact with, from the counselors to the student ambassadors, they’ve all been incredibly helpful.”
Coincidentally, the college this fall will begin offering a Certificate of Achievement in Social Media for Business, which fits right into Nico’s career plans.
Nico, who has his sites set on transferring to San Diego State University after earning an associate’s degree at MiraCosta College, is a surfer who has been doing a lot of work for Hurley International and Adeline Records (which is co-owned by Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong). It was through Hurley that he became involved in a project to help eliminate water-borne illnesses in Nicaragua. He led an effort that raised $9,000, enough to buy dozens of filters, which were taken to the Central American nation by a group of fellow surfers from San Dieguito Academy.
“I really honestly had no clue what I was getting into, but it turned out to be this amazing project that has had a great impact,” he said.
Nico said several of his friends from San Dieguito Academy opted to go Santa Barbara City College, a move he wasn’t comfortable with.
“A lot of people are trying to get into the university of their dreams, and it didn’t work out,” he said. “They still wanted to go somewhere else, so they ended up going to Santa Barbara.”
Nico is just fine with MiraCosta College, where he will save thousands of dollars annually by not attending a four-year university. The San Elijo Campus also is just a few miles from his home. He said his younger sister, who attends San Dieguito Academy, also is contemplating MiraCosta College’s San Elijo Campus when she graduates from high school.
“They have lot to offer,” he said. “Everything is transferable to a four-year college. I’m basically getting my general education requirements fulfilled at a fraction of the cost.”