Basing Post-Secondary Choices on Passion

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                        ISSUE NO. 54
                                                                        B   E   G      I    N   S       H    E   R    E
                                                                                                                     December 2010

Basing Post-Secondary Choices on
Passion                                    helping students realize
                                           they don’t have to
                                           make all the decisions
                                           right now.
Just as Bob Dylan sang, The times,
they are a changing.
                                           “If you were to
                                           interview two or three
And with them, so is the way we look
                                           people in their 40’s,
at post-secondary education and life
                                           they’ve probably
after high school.
                                           been in two or three
                                           different directions by
Over the next few months, many of our
                                           this point,” says Tom
Gr. 11 and 12 students will be making
                                           Clasper, one of the
major decisions – decisions that will
                                           counsellors in West
have major impact on their post-high
                                           Kildonan Collegiate’s
school lives. We know stress runs high
                                           Student Services
around this time of year, and we’re also
                                           Centre who every
aware how many questions run through
                                           day helps students
students’ minds.
                                           approach post-
                                           secondary experiences
What do I want to do with my life?
                                           with ease and a bit
                                           more clarity than                               and some of the private, specialized
Should I go to school –and if so, what
                                           traditional methods dictated.                   schools that sees students spend a
                                                                                           week shadowing students and meeting
                                           “A lot of students aren’t ready to make         with professors and instructors.
What classes should I take? Do I have
                                           their major life decision right now,”
the credits I need to register?
                                           Clasper says. “My big push is to help           The extra effort, Clasper says, alleviates
                                           students and parents realize that the           some stress for students and can help
And – perhaps most commonly – What
                                           best thing to do after high school              clarify direction for those on the cusp.
if I don’t know what I want to do with
                                           is get experience – whether that is
my life?
                                           experience in school or in life or in           It also helps those without any clear
                                           travelling. Everything we do helps us           direction eliminate options and explore
Unfortunately, we don’t have all the
                                           learn skills and lessons that help us           more about who they are and where
answers – and we know our students
                                           later in life. We just need to follow our       their passions lay.
and parents don’t either.
                                                                                           “A lot of the kids are nervous and many
But we can help alleviate some of the
                                           At West Kildonan, Clasper and his               of them are asking themselves Am I
                                           colleagues visit with every Gr. 11              doing the right thing?,” Clasper says.
                                           classroom, help the students explore            “They all have this idea that if they go
Recently, members of the student
                                           their interests and set up trips to Red         to university for two years and don’t
services teams at Maples, West
                                           River College, University of Winnipeg           like it they’ve wasted money. They
Kildonan and Garden City Collegiates
                                           and University of Manitoba for those            don’t see that they’ve learned some
began focusing more effort than ever
                                           with interest. They also facilitate an          things and picked up skills they can
before on preparing students for life
                                           internship program with each school             use. It’s really hard on kids who know
after high school – and that means

               C       O      M        M       U       N      I     T      Y        B       E       G       I      N       S        H       E       R       E
they should be going somewhere, but
                                                                                                                           the University and Red River
aren’t sure where in life that is.”
                                                                                    In TheIr                               College. A month into my University
                                                                                                                           career I earned my first C.
In each of the SOSD high schools,                                                   Own wOrds
counsellors are available to talk
                                                                                                                           I was shocked; needless to say
students through these issues and also                                              Malissa Magorel                        I hadn’t received anything lower
to help guide them to whatever path                                                 Garden City                            than an A on an English paper
turns out to be the right fit.                                                      Collegiate, 2001                       in…well, ever. What am I going
                                                                                                                           to do now? I thought. After two
And school isn’t always the right                                                                                          failed attempts on a successful
option.                                                                                                                    admission into Red River College’s
                                                              Every month, this section will bring                         Creative Communications program,
For some students, travelling or                              you stories of success – straight                            I changed my focus to Psychology.
working to gain life skills while they                        from the mouths of those who                                 Why? I got an A in my Introduction
mature and figure things out is simply                        have succeeded in Seven Oaks                                 to Psychology course.
the better course of action.                                  School Division as students,
                                                              parents or educators. This month                             Looking back I’m not surprised I
“It’s all learning, no matter where                           we asked Garden City Collegiate                              ended up an Honours Psychology
you’re doing it,” Clasper says, noting                        graduate Malissa Magorel – now                               graduate. In high school, a
part of his job is helping parents be                         an Employment Preparation Officer                            mandatory visit to the guidance
                                                              at the Society for Manitobans with                           office to complete a career and
open to the fact that the world is a
                                                              Disabilities – to tell us about her                          aptitude assessment revealed a
much different place right now than it
                                                              experiences with charting her post-                          number of social service related
was even 10 years ago.
                                                              secondary territory.                                         occupations on my career path
“There are so many opportunities                                                                                           printout. I didn’t realize it at the time
                                                              At seventeen, the mere mention of                            but coming across it at the end of
out there right now to go in so many                          the word “University” terrified me.                          my third year of University made
directions,” he says. “Whatever                               I was very comfortable in my high                            me realize that I’d somehow found
direction someone is going, it’s                              school and did not want to leave                             myself on the right path after all.
probably not the direction they will end                      it, let alone decide on a career
up in 20 years from now. But we can                           path that, at the time, I thought                            Ironically, I found myself providing a
all work to find that out together.”                          would be a choice I’d have to live                           similar service to what my guidance
                                                              with for the rest of my life. The                            counsellors provided me in my
By working together, Clasper says,                            guidance counsellors did their best                          professional career: assisting and
parents, students and teachers can                            to convince me otherwise; booking                            supporting high school students as
find a balance of what is important to                        a speaker from each of the major                             they experience the transition from
students, what they are passionate                            universities to help me decide which                         high school to university.
about and what they are good at.                              institution I should devote the next
                                                              several years of my life to.                                 Today, I provide assistance
“Kids have to try things on,” he says.                                                                                     to individuals with disabilities
“You don’t go into a store and buy                            Being the editor of my high school                           identifying their own employment
the first shirt you see. You try things                       newspaper and producing 90%                                  and educational goals. Go figure.
on until you find something that feels                        in virtually all high school English
good. In terms of careers, they have                          courses, I decided to enrol at the                           Who knows where I’ll end up ten,
to go experience some things and find                         University of Winnipeg, with the                             even twenty years from now but
                                                              intention of completing the Creative                         I’m happy with the choices I’ve
where their passions are.”
                                                              Communications combined Degree/                              made so far and look forward to the
                                                              Diploma program offered through                              future.

     Seven Oaks School Division Board of Trustees

     Bill McGowan (Ward II). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     694-0808       Derek Dabee (Ward II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 779-6101
     Evelyn C. Myskiw (Ward I) Chairperson. . . . . . . .                339-1242       Socorro (Cory) Juan (Ward II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 694-8517
     Edward P. Ploszay (Ward III) Vice-Chairperson. .                    339-1260       Ward I – West St. Paul
     Claudia Sarbit (Ward III) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   339-8758       Ward II – Maples, Riverbend                     note: all phone numbers provided
                                                                                        Ward III – Garden City, West Kildonan                    are home phone numbers
     Teresa Jaworski (Ward III) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      334-3063
     Richard Sawka (Ward III) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .      338-1199       Website:                  Telephone Number: 586-8061
     Ric Dela Cruz (Ward II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   694-5692


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