Throughout the week, Grand Haven High School’s Class of 2018 submitted post-secondary applications and started planning for their futures during the annual Applied Week.
At the beginning of the week, 30 percent of the school’s 12th-graders indicated they had a plan. By the end of the week, about 91 percent of the 410 GHHS seniors indicated they have a plan.
Last week, Spring Lake High School seniors participated in Applied Week.
Starting with their freshman year, the students are encouraged to begin thinking about the steps they need to take to reach their goal. One of the biggest things is to understand there are many options after high school, said GHHS Principal Tracy Wilson.
Earlier in the week, GHHS students listened to Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development, who shared that his plans have changed throughout his life.
Wilson said Curtis’ message is important for students to hear — although they might change their plans over the years, it doesn’t mean they have failed. Instead, it means they stayed true to their feelings, Wilson said.
Earlier this week, many West Michigan businesses participated in Boomerang, which also gave students the chance to learn about local career options.
While finances are viewed as a barrier for post-secondary education for some students, another barrier not often considered is not knowing where to begin applying, said Jana Reenders of the Tri-Cities College Access Network. Throughout the week, the network spent time encouraging seniors that a plan can be anything from college, technical training, entering the workforce or enlisting in the military.
Reenders said it has been a “great week” at GHHS.
“I’m really impressed with this class,” she said.