Add to your experience in a pre-college program

After participating in a pre-college program, consider serving in future roles as a way to give back and serve others.

January 5, 2018 - Author: Frank Cox, Michigan State University Extension

Students who participate in pre-college programs give themselves an advantage in preparing for their future. First, from a college and career exploration perspective, they have an opportunity to answer some of the following questions:

  • Is college for me?
  • Is this the college I want to attend?
  • Is this the major I want to pursue?
  • Is this the career field I want to be in?

The answers to these questions can have a positive impact on students, even if the answer is no. Other positive impacts from a pre-college program can be having fun, making new friends, networking and making connections, gaining confidence, and being encouraged about the future from their experience.

Because of the positive impacts, some students may want to return the favor for other students and give back when they graduate from high school and/or age out of the program. Michigan State University Extension suggests that students can explore the opportunity to give back and serve in some role at a pre-college program. This could include serving as a coordinator, counselor or teacher for the pre-college program.

A pre-college program coordinator may be needed to create activities or set the schedule and other logistics for the program. The student may not be able to serve as the main coordinator, but possibly assist in facilitating educational and recreational activities with the director of the program.

Another pre-college program role to serve in is as a counselor or chaperone, similar to a camp setting. Serving in this role would be good because of the past participant’s experience in a pre-college program, which would allow them to serve in a mentor role; sharing their experience as a pre-college program participant, talking about college life and other information about their transition from high school to college.

A third role to explore is teaching or facilitating a session. Past participants can teach on subjects related to their major or other subjects that will prepare the students academically for college. From a non-academic viewpoint, classes in life skills are very valuable.

To learn more about possible ways to give back and serve, one should ask the director if there are opportunities to fill the different roles. Students can also check on these options for work study or as a possible campus job. If students are able to serve in these roles, they should keep a journal to record their experience and how it helps prepare them for their future.

As high school students participate in pre-college programs, they can think about how they could potentially serve and give back to a program that assisted them with their college plans and career preparation.

MSU Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce, and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 impact report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”

Tags: 4-h, 4-h career exploration, careers & entrepreneurship, citizenship & service, leadership, life skills, msu extension


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