High School: A Springboard For Your Future

Cate Praggastis

  • Why are you here?  
  • What does it mean to be college and/or career ready?  
  • Do you really need to go to college?  

So many questions!  That is why you are here! High school is designed to help you continue the exploration of who you want to be by opening yet another door on your journey towards adulthood.  

Back in my day, college was not as critical as it is for your generation. According to a study published in The New York Times, (2015), “The pay gap between college graduates and everyone else reached a record high last year. According to the new data (which is based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington) Americans with four-year college degrees made 98 percent more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree. That’s up from 89 percent five years earlier, 85 percent a decade earlier and 64 percent in the early 1980’s.”   

For sure, college is not the only choice you have, but getting ready for whatever you hope to accomplish as an adult often starts here in high school.  There are many ways to get yourself college/career ready.  At East, you are a part of a team! Teachers, counselors, administration, all staff and support groups, as well as your parents/guardians are members of that team. Our goal is to help you reach your goal!  I teach a college readiness program called AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).  Some of you may have heard that East is working towards being an AVID demonstration school.  Simply put, schoolwide, we are using a system of strategies designed to help all students become better prepared for the rigors of college and career; we are actively teaching students how to ask critical questions, to understand how each individual student learns, while helping students become better organized.  We do this to help ensure students are actively engaged in learning and in becoming ready to enter the adult world.  

One of the most important skills you can have, whether your plan is to enter college, the military or the workplace, is seeing high school as more than just an academic stop on your path to the future. It is here where you will learn some of your most valuable lessons; school experiences aren’t all academic. They are also about growing up—developing social skills, respect, self-worth, empathy, and realizing your own potential. On the sports field, you learn about winning and losing graciously. In the classroom, you learn that doing your best does count.   

So, the simple answer to the questions above: work hard and use high school as your springboard to your future. It is meant to prepare you for whatever it is you hope to do.  For some, college will be the ticket to the future you have long dreamed of – you can’t become a doctor, engineer, nurse, teacher or lawyer, for example, without it.  For others, you may have the next great, new idea and you are ready to run with it.  Whatever you path, we are all here to provide you with the tools necessary to be the best you, you can be.