Soroco High School uses grant to prepare students for college, beyond


If you go

What: "Career Exploration and the Labor Market," the first seminar in a series geared toward helping students plan for life after high school. Steamboat Workforce Center labor and employment specialist Jackie Mitchell is the presenter.

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. today

Where: South Routt School District office

Other: Seminar is free and open to Soroco High School parents and students.

Contact: RSVP to Lisa Omori at 736-2531, ext. 4005.

— When high school seniors sit down with their parents to fill out college application forms, it can be a daunting process, Soroco High School Principal Dennis Alt said.

Now, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the federal government, school counselors have created a program of mentoring, support and advice to help bridge the gap between leaving high school and embarking on a successful college career.

"The conversation started because we have been feeling that our students are not as prepared for that experience as we would like for them to be," Soroco High School counselor Lisa Omori said. "They are either coming home early after their first year, or they're not making it through their first year, or they're not going at all."

During the first in a series of seminars, Steamboat Workforce Center labor and employment specialist Jackie Mitchell will present a talk titled, "Career Exploration and the Labor Market," from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today at the South Routt School District office.

Mitchell said she will talk to students about how to choose the right career path and take advantage of Web sites that use career aptitude tests to show students what areas they may be interested in and what steps are needed to achieve their desired profession.

"We can type in 'anesthesiologist' and see what the pay will be and what the outlook will be like in 10 years," she said, referring to the market demand for the job.

Omori said that a realistic forecast will help students plan for the types of degrees, certificates or skills they will need.

"That will be good for students to hear what's hot and what's not, and what to be looking toward in their future as they think about majors and where they're headed," she said.

The school will continue the program with a slate of speakers throughout the winter and a college visit trip Nov. 6 and 7. During that trip, students will travel to the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and the University of Colorado campuses in Denver and Boulder.

Alt said that having that support is critical, because parents may not have all the answers students need.

"Going through this on your own without any support is pretty difficult," he said. "If (the parents) have gone to college, it was 20 years ago, and if they didn't, it's a pretty daunting task."

The school also is working to create a mentorship program with Partners in Routt County, giving high school students an older mentor to help them through the college transition and into their first year at school.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.