What is Beyond High School?
College is only one option for students,
but the choice is their’s
In an assembly called “Beyond High School,” LSHS Principal Ken Collins and guest speakers including Senator Steve Hobbs, spoke to a packed audience of parents and students.
“Beyond High School” came about during parent teacher meetings, when some of the parents expressed to Principal Collins that they are interested in knowing what is available for their children when high school is over.
“Initially when we started thinking about doing this, we thought we’d do two separate nights for ninth and tenth grade,” Principal Collins commented.
“Our goal is to expose students and their parents to choices,” Collins added.
The theme for the evening was set; there are choices, and perseverance pays off in the end.
“We have made it part of our school improvement plan to help students maximize their choices beginning when they’re in ninth grade,” Principal Collins said.
With the Plus Plan, students begin thinking about their careers in the ninth grade, and follow a path guided by career counselors and teachers. Although a good portion of high school freshmen do not know what career path they want to follow after high school, they are encouraged to explore options.
The evening’s agenda for “Beyond High School” will also help those in need, to explore alternative options such as trade schools, and entering the workforce.
On hand were representatives from four year universities, community colleges, trade unions, and the military to speak with students and parents on the choices they have.
Each of the four sessions were approximately 25 minutes in length, giving brief overviews of college planning, essay writing for college admission, scholarships and financial aid, and entering trade schools.
Senator Hobbs took the stage, and spoke of adversities, overcoming them, and the challenges young people face.
“This is where I graduated from, but of course a lot has changed,” Senator Hobbs said.
“There’s a lot more students, the cultures completely different, and you listen to strange music, you dress funny, some of you have piercings, and I don’t understand how you speak sometimes,” Senator Hobbs said, as the audience broke the silence with laughter.
Senator Hobbs continued by saying, “Despite all of that, you are a great generation of young people,” The Senator kept the evening flowing with his anecdotal humor, but was serious when it came to parent’s involvement with their children.
“Parent’s, stay involved with what your kids are doing,” he said. “I’m nothing special, but I didn’t give up,” Senator Hobbs stated.
“Do not give up,” said Senator Hobbs adding, “people will always tell you different things; your peers, your parents, but you really have to listen to your heart. You should at least try, and try to pursue your dreams.”
Friends Travis Haegele a junior and sophomore Brain Denver said it was a valuable night.
“It was very, very beneficial; it showed opportunities not just with colleges, or the military, but all your options,” Haegele said.
Denver added that it gave him some answers that were not available in his classes.
Haegele says he has aspirations of joining the Navy upon graduation, following the footsteps of some of his family members. As for Denver, he says he will be pursuing college.
“I’m not the military type,” Denver said.
Mother Stephanie Eckley, and daughter Kylie Hewitt a junior, found the evening to be helpful, but wished some of the other colleges were there to talk to the students and parents.
“I didn’t know anything until I came here tonight,” Eckley said. Hewitt says she plans to be a history teacher.
With so many options for students, sometimes it can be overwhelming to make any decision on a direction after graduation.
Some students and families may have the desire to have their child attend college, but for financial reasons, feel it may be impossible.
There are many scholarship programs available for students; not only academic for top students, but average grade level students have opportunities as well. Students should take an active roll in their communities and volunteer of help out in other ways.
Some scholarships look at students who “give back” to their communities and try to further themselves through means other than scholastically.
Principal Collins says he felt the evening to be a success, and plans to do this every year for the students, and their parents.
“I’m hoping parents and students got what they wanted to get out of it,” Principal Collins said.