Insight into the final year of high school and life beyond was available to the class of 2023 recently when St. Charles Parish Public Schools held its fourth annual Senior Transition Institute.
Dr. Alice Cryer-Sumler, school counseling and student support specialist for the district, said the mission of the event was to empower SCPPS rising seniors with a smooth transition to their senior year, high school graduation and post-secondary years.
In past years the summit was held in the summer, but this year the switch to a May event meant all high school juniors could attend and not just those who were in town or not working when the event was planned for.
“All of the students were able to reap the benefits,” Cryer-Sumler said. “In past years we missed a lot of the students. Events like our Senior Transition Institute are important to support our rising seniors with resources, focusing on college options – both two year colleges and four year colleges – financial aid resources like LOSFA, career pathways including the military and other career opportunities and self-care strategies for goal-setting and time management to prepare our students for their senior year and beyond.”
Over 700 Destrehan High School and Hahnville High School class of 2023 students attended the institutes, which were held the morning of May 24 at each high school campus. Guest speakers presented information to the students, and the day featured breakout sessions on financial aid, financial planning, career pathways and college readiness.
“The students were excited,” Cryer-Sumler said.
All students, as well as high school senior advisors and counselors, received binders with a plethora of relevant information – including detailed college costs, dual enrollment processes and college application tips.
“My hopes are that the students received a preview to resources for their senior year and beyond,” Cryer-Sumler said. “I just think it puts our students in a better place to be prepared for senior year and then whatever is next, whether it be a job or college or the military. They have a head start.”
Cryer-Sumler said that the institute was well-received by both students and parents, and that plans going forward are to continue to hold the event at the end of each school year so that as many students as possible can benefit from the information.
“There were so many people who helped to put it on … the committee has grown so much,” she said, adding the planning committee involves district staff members as well as staff from DHS and HHS.
Others involved in the event’s planning include Tamika Green Chris Kimball, Ronny Seal, Tracy Logan, Stefanie Ward, Melissa Bourdreaux, Amanda Bourgeois, Cristina Hargis, Jennifer Foss, Shawn Heiden, Shanon Briner, Hope Barnhill, Jackie Walther, Rosemary Ahearn, Elizabeth Parrino, Anitra Boyd and Dr. Iman En-Nabut.