Options HS seniors reflect about their college + career plans

Filed Under: Blog

Student quote: Through this class I made moves to put my plan into action. I also have a backup plan now.

Teaching, dental hygiene, HVAC, and psychology are just a sampling of the future career aspirations of recently graduated seniors in Joe Wooding’s AVID class at Options High School in Bellingham. Graduates will move on to a range of post-high school education and training programs, from apprenticeships to two- and four-year degrees.

In a June conversation with students, they reflected about their senior year – how their plans had changed (or not), what they had learned through their AVID experience, and who supported them on their path through high school and what’s to come. These reflections followed an initial conversation with Ready Washington in December about similar topics.

“My plans haven’t changed much, but I actually made moves to put the plan into action, and I have a backup plan,” one student shared. [Student names are not shared to maintain privacy.] This student plans to attend Western Washington University to become a high school art teacher, inspired by the supportive teachers they had. “I want a safe space for kids.”

Another student had registered for classes in the dental assistant program at Bellingham Technical College on the path to becoming a dental hygienist. Attending a two-year program will also allow this student to complete required work hours in a dental setting as part of the certification.

A construction apprenticeship is the next step for another student, who plans to pursue future apprenticeships in HVAC and electrical.

Taking AVID during their senior year helped many students explore and cement their post-high school plans, as well as build confidence in their ability to graduate high school and succeed in college. Students cited supportive teachers as most helpful, along with activities such as meeting with college advisors and mentors to get individual guidance about completing college and financial aid applications (FAFSA/WASFA).

“I feel very lucky to have this class, to have it available to me. I’m glad it exists,” one student said. 

Another student said they were indifferent to AVID at the beginning of the school year but ended up “feeling good about that choice” and their plans to attend Bellingham Technical College.

“Before AVID, I didn’t think about graduating,” another student added. The class helped lessen anxiety about the future, and while it got repetitive at times, “it did its job!”

This sentiment was echoed by another student, who said they didn’t have a plan at the start of the year. “I was so stressed. This class helped me feel more confident about what I want to do.”

While the students expressed a whirlwind of emotions, some overwhelmed at the prospect of graduating high school in just a few days, they were nearly universally grateful for the dedicated time they had each day during their senior year to think intentionally and with support about what their lives after high school might contain.

AVID was a “daily reminder” for one student that, “Yes, I do need to consider college and all the steps. I can’t ignore this. I have to be paying attention.”