On Saturday, March 20th, Mrs. Tina Walcott, Educator, facilitated a virtual workshop for our children entitled “Next Steps! Middle School to High School and Beyond.” This topic was specifically requested by our clientele, as our youngsters are keenly interested in preparing themselves for the next phases of their lives. In response, Mrs. Walcott produced a lesson intended to help position them for future success.
This workshop began with an overview of what our children should look forward to in high school. First, Mrs. Walcott reviewed required vs. elective classes, as well as options for earning college credits, including dual enrollment and international baccalaureate programs. Next, extra-curricular activities and graduation requirements were covered. Mrs. Walcott took special care to advise our students on how to balance obligations and ‘live their best lives’ while in high school. Tips included: 1) take your studies seriously, 2) ask for help, when needed, 3) be organized, 4) participate in extra-curricular activities you genuinely enjoy, 5) choose your friends wisely, and 6) stay away from ‘drama’. She went on to share that she has witnessed good pupils with lofty goals have their plans derailed by falling in with the wrong crowds, and admonished our children not to make the same mistakes. Finally, Mrs. Walcott implored each participant to do well during their freshman year, as it sets the tone for their entire high school experience.
Mrs. Walcott then spoke to those considering college, and touched upon everything from how to maintain good grades (“Read, read, read!”) to standardized test resources. This segued into a discussion of the components of a solid college application, such as: 1) good grades, 2) respectable test scores, 3) distinguished club leadership roles, 4) noteworthy community service, and 5) strong letters of recommendation. Mrs. Walcott encouraged students to maintain good behavior both in and outside of school, as the people they will ask to write references for them will pull from all interactions they have had with them- whether or not they have taken place on high school grounds. This segment closed with an appraisal of the various forms of higher education (i.e. 4-year vs. technical colleges) as well as financial support options like the HOPE scholarship. For those interested in moving straight from high school into employment, Mrs. Walcott explored career clusters and options such as the military and work-based learning. She also summarized examples of those who have successfully navigated this path, including a young man who worked at McDonald’s part-time during high school and now owns a franchise.
This was a seminar that challenged our adolescents to envision long-term goals and actively work towards achieving them while in high school. Our HERO children were engaged during the class and asked thoughtful questions throughout. Special thanks to Mrs. Walcott for her continued commitment to supporting our children as they consider and map out their “Next Steps!”