Avondale School District Academy Hosts College Reps to Help Guide Students’ Post-High School Decision Making

“Do not let your past dictate your future” was the advice that Andre Carr, Assistant Director, Office of Admissions, Western Michigan University gave to a group of Avondale School District Academy students when he talked to them about working toward going to college. Carr, whose background includes working with at-risk students, was at the school as part of the Avondale Academy staff’s effort to provide college admissions information and guidance to the students.

Avondale Academy students and their counselor, Janette Mow welcome Andre Carr from the Western Michigan University Office of Admissions

Avondale Academy students and their counselor, Janette Mow welcome Andre Carr from the Western Michigan University Office of Admissions

“For some of the students, going on to further their education after high school isn’t something they’ve ever thought about,” explained Academy Counselor Janette Mow. “Something we do here at the Academy is to get the student thinking about possibilities and how to make those possibilities real.” In addition to Western Michigan University, Avondale Academy student will have visits from Oakland University, Baker College, University of Michigan Flint, Central Michigan University, Oakland Community College, Eastern Michigan University and Specs Howard School of Broadcasting. The school is also planning to take Academy junior and seniors to see first-hand what college looks and feels like with trips to college campuses.

Mow works with students on their post high school plans, including providing them with information about how to pay for college. “I don’t think the students realize the number of scholarships and grants that are out there and it’s possible that’s why they don’t think about going to college. Maybe it feels like it can never be for them.” To that end, the Academy is partnering with Auburn Hills United College Access Network Coordinator, Diane Baldwin, and Oakland University Financial Aid staff to host a presentation at the Academy on November 16 that will cover College Readiness and the FAFSA process.

Paying for college was, in fact, in the forefront of junior Kameron Stephens’ mind as he listened to Carr’s presentation. Stephens wants to go to college; he wants to pursue entrepreneurial studies; and he’s already researching scholarship options. “I went to scholarships.com and found several scholarships that I could get. I was really listening when he (Carr) was talking about grants, scholarships, on-campus jobs and paid internships. I was glad to find out that there are ways to pay for college.”

In addition to making sure the students have information about different colleges and financial aid information, Mow spends time helping them uncover educational options outside of the traditional four-year college path. “Some student are a better match for a two-year college, a trade school or the armed forces. We work to help them uncover what is the match for them and then we help them explore that option. They have dreams like every other high school student – it’s very rewarding to help them make those dreams come true,” she added.

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