In order to graduate from California public high schools, students must pass a minimum set of required courses and an exit examination. Upon the successful completion of these state and local school district requirements, a high school diploma is earned. This official document certifies that a student has been equipped with the essential skills that they will need to become successful individuals. Earning a diploma is a great accomplishment and a testament to one’s abilities and dedication, but many uncertainties about where one may end up in life still remain.
As students near the ends of their K-12 careers, they must be ready to leave the supportive and nurturing environment of their high school communities and be prepared to enter the society as responsible and productive adults, whether that means continuing their education or pursuing immediate careers.
Employers and college admission boards look for students who are able to conduct themselves professionally and responsibly. In order to prepare students for their ensuing adulthood expectations, seniors have the task of creating a senior portfolio that allows them to practice constructing a resume, a scholarship inquiry letter, a personal reference data sheet for letters of recommendation, and a professional thank you letter. Each component of this assignment reflects the student’s character and showcases their academic, extra-curricular, community service, and personal interests. However, as vital as these skills are to the future success of a student’s endeavors, what good are they if a student is uncertain about where to apply them?
Citrus Valley High School has taken the extra step in preparing their seniors for the future by encouraging them to take a more serious approach in planning for their future careers through job shadowing. Job shadowing is an opportunity for students to gain work experience by having them walk through a work day with a competent worker, allowing them to acquire exposure to their occupational area of interest. CV seniors have been tasked with contacting a person who works in a field of their interest, inquiring about their job shadowing policies, then following through with their inquiry by scheduling a day to do so.
CV senior Avery DeSantis said, “I had the opportunity to job shadow an emergency room nurse at the Loma Linda University Medical Center. During my job shadow, I received a tour of the emergency room and all the different facilities inside of it. While on my tour, I learned about the different job opportunities in emergency medicine. There were so many behind the scenes jobs that I did not know existed. Everyone worked together to ensure the safety and efficient care of all patients.”
The Redlands Unified School District has strived to provide all of its students with the opportunities to develop the skill sets they will need in order to succeed academically and socially in the real world. Years of preparation through hard work and high expectations were designed to help students achieve one main goal: graduating confidently. Feelings range from deep apprehension to extreme elation to happy mediums in students’ envisionments of their post-graduation lives, but regardless of their perceptions, they all face the same reality of an inevitable future. For seniors, the next and most important step in their lives after graduation is to think ahead and orchestrate their master plans for the promising futures ahead of them.
It’s normal to be nervous, and it’s okay to be uncertain, but don’t forget to reflect proudly on the skills that you’ve learned through the guidance of your high school community. Pursue your passions, explore your options optimistically, and take advantage of every opportunity that can help expand your horizons. The future doesn’t happen immediately, so you have time to plan, but the future is inevitable, so you must utilize your time wisely and carefully. Take the initiative to be proactive in your life and make decisions that will help you achieve a positive and successful transition.