RB hosts second annual College and Career Week

Aryan Hernandez, Staff Reporter

This past week, March 13th to 17th, marked the second annual College and Career Week event at Riverside Brookfield High School. This event, which aims to provide support to students in their post-secondary plans, has allowed students to ask any questions they may have and has provided them multiple opportunities to learn more about what they can do in life upon graduation.

One of RB’s guidance counselors, April Brown, was part of creating this event. She described the events that took place during the week, which included not only beneficial events for students, but for parents as well.

“College [and] Career Week is a week of exposure to students for different college planning resources [and] career planning resources, including different college reps who’ll be out visiting as well as different career reps [and] trades reps,” Brown said. “There are resources for not just students, but for parents as well.”

Although college is the most common path taken after high school, there are numerous other options available that can better align with a student’s interests and goals. College and Career Week has been of assistance to students in seeing what more is available to them besides the streamline college route, such as vocational school, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, online education, and the military.

“It’s important and beneficial because our students are here for four years to receive their education [and] part of them receiving their education is that student services provides support with post-secondary planning, whatever that looks like,” Brown said. “If it is going to a four-year college, two-year college, trades, or straight to work, it is important that we provide those resources so that students have information to help them with their post-secondary goals.”

When College and Career Week first started at RB during the 2021-22 school year, it was successful. Not many changes were made to this year’s events except for some additions.

“I don’t think there’s necessarily any changes other than the addition of the career reps,” Brown said. “I think for the first year—which I’m not really sure why there wasn’t one in previous years considering all students are not going straight to college, so we provide resources for all post-secondary planning—it was a very successful turnout, in particular at the trades fair being our inaugural one. We [also] offered a FAFSA assistance [booth] in the lunch periods last year. I think overall the week was very successful last year.”

Although the event did have a good turnout, that doesn’t mean that it went perfectly. There were a few bumps in the road which Brown hoped to smooth out.

“Now I do feel like that [offering FAFSA assistance] could’ve been improved,” Brown said. “Between myself and my coworker, Ms. Carey, sitting in on those lunch periods, the purpose was to be there to provide support [and answer] any questions that seniors might have regarding their financial aid award letters. She, I believe, had one student that took advantage and came up and asked a question. I know when I was in there, none came. I’m not sure if it was just not publicized enough, but hopefully this year I’d like to see more students take advantage and ask questions.”

Junior Katie DeJesus attended the college planning tips presentation for parents of juniors with her family and gained a lot of important information that will come in handy as she prepares for collegiate life.

“I thought it was well done,” DeJesus said. “It covered the basis of college tips pretty well. It didn’t go super far in depth, but I thought it was a good general knowledge [presentation].”

Along with the general knowledge provided, DeJesus appreciated the specific tips given and what exactly to use when college planning.

“I thought that they did a good job on giving us specific tools to use, like specific Naviance sources and then other financial aid calculators,” DeJesus said. “I thought that was useful, the specific things.”

College and Career Week has given students a chance to better educate themselves on the array of opportunities available to them. DeJesus commends the counselors for their work, especially her counselor who has been of great help to her.

“I think that the counselors do a really good job at giving us resources, like the stuff on Naviance,” DeJesus said. “My counselor—he’s pretty available to help with things whenever I need help with any questions or anything.”