Life After High School (LAHS) is a two-part project targeting high schoolers. First, we partnered with a local organization, Educational Services Facility (ESF), who works with students on various levels preparing them get to college. In 2011 LAHS wanted to offer students at the ESF center a chance to learn ACT testing strategies; so, we hired an experienced, well-known teacher who has a great reputation of helping students increase their ACT scores. We received incredible feedback from students, teachers, schools, and parents. There are four ACT sessions, usually a week before a national ACT test. Student attendance ranges from 50-65 per session. While students are learning testing strategies, members provides snacks, old ACT tests to review, and any other material the teacher needs.
The second part of LAHS is organizing a Career Fair at local high schools. We coordinate with two high schools and contact various businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region. Each business has their own booth with an information board, packets with valuable information regarding their industry, and even goodies. Students are able to discuss with the representative specific details regarding what their industry is about including salary ranges, required education, levels of growth, and even internships. This provides students valuable insight as to what their interested industry would require of them, not only after high school, but while they are in school as well. Some students learn they can apply for an internship during the summer to learn more about the industry and also experience the industry as a real-world worker. The Career Fair also gives students who are not afforded the opportunity to meet with different industries a chance to learn what is required of them and to meet with them all in one day.
Career Day has a specific focus; rotating students between grades 9-12 to visit each booth, students are able to take home information and review with their parents or guardian and start the conversation at home about their life after high school. However, the main focus we have for Career Day is to give students an opportunity to target an industry they are interested in and start thinking about what they need to do now to be successful and achieve their goals.
LAHS wants students to be more prepared before leaving high school and have a true understanding what will be available to them once they graduate. We feel if they are prepared and have the knowledge of what will be required of them after high school, then they will have a great advantage in being successful in the real world.
In 2014 over 20 businesses from different industries participated at the Career Fair and served over 2,000 students.
Contact Life After High School project chair, Sara Oropesa or co-chair, Brittany Layton, via email at jabosLAHS@gmail.com for additional information.