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    Littleton High School hosts Military Exploration Workshop

    Littleton High School hosts Military Exploration Workshop

    Photo By Sgt. Benjamin Pryer | Sgt. Benjamin Gutierrez, a recruiter with Recruiting Station Denver, conducts a mock...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Benjamin Pryer 

    8th Marine Corps District

    Littleton High School, along with the Generation Schools Network and local military recruiters conducted the first Military Exploration Workshop at Littleton High School in Littleton, Co. Oct. 5, 2016. The workshop welcomed students from several local high schools to learn about multiple post-secondary opportunities.
    Amy Oaks, principal of Little High School, said the workshop was constructed to provide high schools students a greater understanding of post-secondary opportunities, to include trade skills, technical schools and military enlistment.
    “We put this together with Generation Schools Network because they are interested in supporting public schools who are working on helping students find pathways to postsecondary planning, and we were interested in filling a gap in our postsecondary planning services for students. Littleton high school has a post-graduation center that has been here for many years and it really focuses on helping students plan for life after high school, but the focus of the postgrad center has really been college planning.”
    Oaks continued to say that while not disfavoring alternate post-secondary routes, the high school has historically focused on advocating college as a follow on opportunity.
    “We are a community that sends many, many students to college, but we knew that we had a gap in the services we were providing,” said Oaks. “I think high school students won't get the information for those other options unless we provide it. I think that if the high school doesn't set up a way for students to get this information, then we will have many students who don't have a realistic plan for what they're going to do.”
    Oaks also mentioned how the change in local demographic over has led to the need to institute more effective means of post-secondary information.
    “It's amazing how much kids rely on high schools to help them understand their options,” said Oaks. “Lots of kids are lucky enough to have parents who have experience and the time to walk them through their options, but we have more and more students whose parents are too busy. In this high school in particular, over the past 20 years, we have had a change in students who are coming. We have more students who are first-generation going to college and other students who are coming from other nations.”
    Oaks said this workshop also lets students learn about their opportunities around likeminded peers, helping to reduce the change peer pressure may take a negative effect.
    According to a statistic provided by Oaks, approximately 36% of their high school students have no definite plan after receiving their high school diploma.
    “If we don't show them apprenticeships, trade skills, and military options, it will take them all the longer to find options on their own,” said Oaks. “It's our job to show kids what the opportunities are, and we’re really good at showing the college, even colleges are good at getting into the high schools and showing the students opportunities. It seems to me that it is very hard for military recruiters to contact high school students.”
    According to Leslie Tjajadi, manager of whole students success with Generation Schools Network, their organization started in New York in 2004 with the goal of opening new schools, which have evolved into also partnering with existing schools in order to assist with post-secondary readiness.
    Tjajadi said they had a grant to do post-secondary reviews in Colorado, while in conversation with Amy Oakes, it was decided that a workshop emphasizing a wide array of post-secondary options would be beneficial in filling in gaps for Little High School’s current post-secondary process.
    “If you don't know an opportunity, you can't pursue it,” said Tjajadi. “It's always better to about different jobs, careers and pathways as early as possible, just so students can take classes that they need. If they are simply going to school for school’s sake, they aren’t going to be as motivated, but if they have a long-term goal of going to West Point or owning their own business, then it gives a lot more meaning to the day-to-day.”
    Tjajadi mentioned that she attended Little High School, and was never provided much information on military options.
    “I think I would've loved to have this, but I think I would've needed some encouragement to attend just because the military was on my radar,” said Tjajadi. “I think I would've loved a nudge from someone just to go because there's no harm in getting information, no harm in learning, and even if I didn’t go into the military, it would've been great having that information to share with other people.”
    Morgan Evans, a senior at Englewood High School, said she heard about the workshop through her schools’ daily announcements.
    “I thought this was very informational and I learned a lot of things I did not know coming in,” said Evans. “My mom was in the Air Force for 10 years, and she gave me a lot of information, but this went the extra mile in teaching me what I need to do to best prepare myself to get into the Air Force.”
    Evans also mentioned she would have enjoyed such a workshop much sooner in her high school path.
    “I would like to have a workshop like this before my senior year, so I would've known everything I had to do to get into an academy,” said Evans. “I feel like I've gotten information a little late, but this workshop did give me the information I needed to join a military academy after I've enlisted.”



    Date Taken: 10.05.2016
    Date Posted: 10.26.2016 16:19
    Story ID: 213021
    Location: LITTLETON, CO, US

    Web Views: 160
    Downloads: 0