LAPEER — When it comes to a postgraduation future, it’s important to have a plan.
It doesn’t matter what the goal is — whether it’s a four-year university, a two-year college, a certificate program, trade school or the military, knowing how to achieve the goal is nearly as important as the goal itself.
That’s why members of the Lapeer High School counseling department organized the school’s Decision Day. A celebration of all things “next step,” seniors were invited to share their post-grad plans, whatever that plan might be.
But it’s not just a party, said Lapeer High School counselor Julie Pecore. “We put a lot of time and effort into it, and it went really well,” she said.
Pecore said events like Decision Day are put on to get students excited about planning their futures — with the recent pandemic and current economic downturn, Pecore and her colleagues aren’t seeing as many students applying to postgraduation programs or completing FAFSAs.
Decision Day is a culmination of a school year of encouragement and opportunity for seniors seeking to continue their education after high school. The school’s counseling department organizes a number of events throughout the year aimed at making the transition from high school to the next step, whatever that next step is, as seamless as possible.
Following a survey of seniors earlier this year, the counseling department and college advisor Ricky Bennett organized a visit to the Mott Community College Regional Technology Center. Students who were interested in a number of trade or skilled jobs, like welding or HVAC, information technology or CAD, were able to see first-hand what pursuing those jobs would be like.
The trip was funded by a “Gamechanger Grant” courtesy of the Michigan College Access Network, Pecore said, which provided for costs associated with transportation and food for the students. Students traveled with advisors in small groups and toured areas of their individual interests. “We hope to write another (grant application) next fall,” said Pecore.
And before this school year is complete, Pecore, Bennett and the rest of the counseling department will begin working with juniors to get their minds on what’ll be in store for them after high school — the early June event, Junior Jump!, will once again take over the Center for Innovation to provide next year’s seniors a jumpstart in post-graduation planning.