St. Petersburg Youth Farm

Finding your path

BY ANAYA GRAHAM, 15, Youth Farm Participant

ST. PETERSBURG — What are your plans after high school? What college are you going to? Are you going to college? These are questions that we teens get asked during our years of high school or even middle school.

Being an ambassador with St. Pete Youth Farm, I met a woman named Julia Long, who currently works at Boca Ciega High School. Before coming to work at Boca Ciega, she attended the University of Houston for Art History.

Her job there is working in the College and Career Center. The reason for the center is to help us high schoolers create a plan before leaving high school.

Long told me that so many students are confused about what to do after high school or where to go when their life is ready to start. When I asked her if the center was mostly for seniors, she told me, “It’s never too early to start making a plan after high school.”

So she will have students come in her office, and they would either go straight into having conversations about if they have a plan for after high school. She told me that she loves a challenge with helping students on making a plan.

She also references a website called Naviance to students. What is Naviance, you ask? It’s a website that lets you look at different colleges and take quizzes to find what your strengths might be if you don’t know what you want to study in college or go into career-wise.

One of the reasons why she references this website is because she likes helping students become aware of their gifts that they may not know or think they have.  For example, I did the “Career Cluster Finder” on Naviance, and when I got my results, they said my choices led me to human services.

I believe that test was a good start to at least see what type of things I’m interested in. So I believe all students who are curious but not sure what they want to do when they graduate they should take one of the quizzes on the site and see what choices it leads to them.

Remember, it’s never too early to start planning goals; you can reach them step by step and with some motivation. So next time someone at your school asks you, “Do you have a plan for after high school?” ask in return if there’s a program or someone to guide them to get a plan?

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