On Wednesday, October 27th Kearsley High School held the KearsleyNext event for the Class of 2022. Seniors were able to get a head start on their FAFSA Applications, apply to Mott Community College and meet with several representatives to ask questions and explore different options for their future.
The idea for KearsleyNext evolved from a brainstorming session with the KHS counseling staff last winter but was inspired by our students. Students requested more hands-on workshop style activities where they have time during the day to work on post-secondary planning because so many work, volunteer, participate in athletics, and have other activities in general after school. They also wanted more workshops because so many do not know where to start and want help applying what they are learning, not just getting talked at during a lecture. The district recognized the need as well as many students needed assistance with the college and career planning process.
The day began with all seniors checking in and heading to the auditorium to get the introduction to the new Education Development Plan program, Xello. The students then used their Chromebooks and began exploring Xello with the hands-on help of the staff. They were also asked to take a Google survey to help them pre-select their particular session. They had a choice between four different panels: college representatives, military recruiters, trades & workforce Representatives from MI Works and Kettering Co-op and finally MRS & MCTI representatives. They were able to ask questions and get more information to see whether this would be something they would like to pursue after graduation.
Following the general session, seniors were split into two groups and Ms. Collins worked with the students on an overview of their Parchment accounts, completing their Mott Community College applications and obtaining acceptable references. KHS Counselor Mrs. Dailey worked with the other half of the students on accessing their MiSSG Student Portal, creating their FSA ID and beginning the student portion of their FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid).
The day concluded in the gymnasium where the students were asked to take a survey on what they felt they learned or benefited from and things they wished were different. There was a fun prize drawing with all sorts of different goodies for the seniors to pick from.
In speaking with students throughout the event, they appreciated being able to have a quiet work time with the support of not just school staff; but also outside volunteers and community supporters. They learned a lot about different post-secondary pathways along with the importance of financial aid and how to apply what they are learning. They had fun while doing necessary work and post-secondary planning.
The day was a huge success with over 160 students participating in different parts of the event. Additionally, the volunteers loved the opportunity to work with students in ways they had not thought of before. A special thanks to Career Development Facilitator Kristie Zamora and MSU College Advising Corps Coordinator Hannah Collins for their planning of the event along with our KHS counseling team of Jill Carter, Joda Dailey, Laura Sturgess and Tonia Pierce.