BY LAUREN REVEAL, MANAGING EDITOR
My teachers and counselors begin the college talk with students at the start of ninth grade. Seniors then spend months of energy bringing up grades and SAT scores, and writing dozens of essays so they can hopefully get into one of their top colleges. Wilson helps students decide which college is the best fit for those who go to Sandy Bean, the College and Career Center Co-Coordinator, for help. However, college is not for everyone. Whether a student isn’t ready for college or just doesn’t want to go at all, it can be hard to see any other option. Luckily, Wilson has a plan to solve this issue: career counseling.
The goal of career counseling is to show students how to start looking and applying for a job. They learn the skills necessary to appeal to interviewers and determine personal strengths and aptitudes to figure out what kind of job would be best for them.
Though it is still in the workshop phase, the counseling will become three one-hour after-school courses before the end of this year. The current plan is for interested students to learn about resume writing and interview skills, and hear from Wilson alumni and others who went straight into the workforce after graduation.
The program is the brainchild of Senior Career Counselor of the United States Agency for International Development Jeannie Oster, with parent volunteer Cathy Sledz, and Bean. Bean brought the other two together when she realized their mutual interest in helping students find another path after high school.
“Much like my essay workshop, there was no demand, nobody asking for it. But I knew that there were people who needed help,” said Bean.
Working does not have to mean never attending college. Oster thinks that the jobs found could be part-time or part of a gap year. Still, she believes that anyone can find a good job without going to college.
“The big companies don’t care if you have a college degree,” she said, referring to jobs in the Information Technology field.
“Nobody ever woke up at the age of 20 and said, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t been to college yet… a lot of people wake up and go ‘Oh, now I’m ready to go to college,” said Bean.
With the money and confidence that this career counseling is aiming to bring, maybe more students will have that moment. •
GRAPHIC BY JANE MARTIN, GRAPHIC DESIGNER