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College Connections


Mrs. Jennifer Gilroy



What Can the College Connections Advisor do for Me?

MTSD's College Connections Advisor can help students navigate the road to higher education throughout their senior year. The advisor schedules various college tours for students to attend, help with ACT and SAT readiness, give feedback on essays for scholarships and college admissions, and so much more!

College Search: Aids students in finding colleges that align with their aspirations and interests, organizes the McDowell College Fair, and coordinates college campus tours

Application Assistance: Helps with the college admission application process, provides feedback on college essays, and assists with college-related tasks on Naviance.

Scholarship Discovery: Helps students identify scholarships they are eligible for and guides them through the scholarship application process

Financial Aid Guidance: Assists students with their FAFSA and PHEAA applications for federal and state aid. Helps compare financial aid offers and provides student loan resources


How was College Connections created?

Mr. William Conner and his daughter, Cynthia, are responsible for creating and funding the College Connections Advisor position at McDowell. Their goal is to provide students with the resources, tools, and support they need to successfully navigate the often overwhelming college application and admission process. This position is a welcome addition to our school, but the Conner family’s support of McDowell students started long ago. In May 1977, Mr. Conner founded the Jim Conner Memorial Foundation after his son, Jim, a McDowell High School sophomore, died at the age of 15 as the result of a motorcycle accident. In the depths of grief, after the unimaginable loss of his son, Mr. Conner chose generosity and kindness. He sought to touch the lives of others in a very real and tangible way. Within one month of his son’s tragic death, using memorial donations, Mr. Conner gave a McDowell senior a $2,000 scholarship. For the 46 years since, Mr. Conner has privately funded the Jim Conner Memorial scholarships. To date, Mr. Conner has awarded over 1.3 million dollars to McDowell students!