Yesterday was my last day at Northland High School, but not by my choice. I have come down with the flu and have spent the past day and a half in bed sleeping and coughing.
I’ll miss working at Northland. Although the workshops were not as well attended as I and the guidance counselor had hoped, it still feels successful. The guidance counselor hoped I or another college student would do a similar program again next winter. We had ended up not doing a career/college access fair because it was simpler to just send students to the ones an hour away near walker and grand rapids. The students did receive a lot more info on the college access resources the school did offer though during workshops and classroom visits, so that was one good result of the program. The timing had been the hardest to figure out because it kept conflicting with highly-attended classes: so hopefully next winter the scheduling won’t be so bad or the workshops could be made mandatory so that students don’t have to choose between class and the program. I also sent out a survey to the students to find out what the strengths and problems of the program were, so that it can be improved next time.
I met with Brody and Ben yesterday, and finally I have a picture of these camera-shy high schoolers:
In the workshop, we went over how to build resumes to discover skills and personality traits that they might not realize that they have. They were really engaged and we had a quite a bit of fun creating resumes for hypothetical situations and pretend people. We talked about how everyone has different skills and different circumstances, and we discussed the extremes that some people would go to for school. After I explained that resumes could actually be used to apply to scholarships and not just jobs, they started to see how this would help them in college. Then, they were convinced that they didn’t have any skills or achievements to put on their resume, but, after some reflection exercises, they found their strengths: Marine-life enthusiast, Varsity Football Player (every year during high school), etc. They were still asking questions when the bell-rung.
Before I left, they wanted some help with test-prep because they run out of time or get discouraged when they don’t know how to do a problem. I gave them some materials and advice on those sorts of problems, and we’ll be emailing to find out how that goes. I need to email a senior I saw the other day about gap years and community service programs since he hasn’t applied to college and doesn’t know what to do. It’s nice that, even though the program is over, the students still are asking me questions. I’m going to miss doing workshops with them, but I know we’ll keep in touch. It’s almost like I’m not saying goodbye. More like, “hello, how are you doing?”
Photos of random things around the high school:
in the school office in order to encourage students
one of the college and employment fairs the school will take the students to
Bilingual Sign for the girls’ bathroomPreparing for one of the workshops and letting students browse some college access books