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BSHS seniors learn how to ‘Close the Deal’

 

At Bryan Station High School, Brandy Ashford’s focus is to help seniors “Close the Deal” on their plans for life after graduation. She organizes events like this daylong conference that bring together students, staff, college representatives, business partners, and community members invested in the students’ postsecondary goals. 

“We want to make sure students in their senior year are finding their fit and being exposed to different colleges, industries, and careers. That will help them say ‘This is it’ or ‘This is what I want to do,’” said Ashford, the school’s college and career readiness coach.

In the latest initiative, seniors rotated through half-hour morning sessions on financial aid and FAFSA, Greek life and other student organizations, college degree options, and career pathways. “What stood out the most was the talk about college life and what we should look for, like how well people interact on campus,” said student YedideYah Sledge. “This right here is what will get you ready for the world,” he added.

After lunch, he and his classmates checked out about a dozen resource tables scattered next to the football field. “As we walk around the booths, we could easily change our mind as to where we want to go. We know there’s countless opportunities to get to where and what we want to be after high school,” said senior Jonathan Navarrete-Ruelas.

The groups on campus ranged from Upward Bound and the Lexington Lions Club to Gray Construction and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Several colleges and universities were on hand, including Kentucky State, Midway University, and Bluegrass Community & Technical College. Representatives from nontraditional paths also presented options, such as cosmetology school and military service.  

“I wanted to expand the gamut of careers,” Ashford said of “Close the Deal.” “It let seniors know what options are out there and how to navigate the process and get there. This can create a network and opportunities for them. We want to make sure they’re equipped to be successful in life.”

Throwback bonus:

After posing in the bleachers for a senior class photo, the students heard from former principal James McMillin, who is now chief of high schools for Fayette County Public Schools. He urged the students to make sure they find their “why” before graduation, to focus on long-term fulfillment over transient happiness, and to remember that genuine relationships matter. “No matter what future you choose, enjoy this time together,” McMillin said.

Contact: Brandy Ashford, college and career coach

(Posted Sept. 30, 2021)


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