Every fall, Senior School students participate in Leadership Experience Week activities. The Grade 11 and 12 students attend “Career Day” for their kick-off event. Each year, we invite guests to tell their stories to our senior students to assist them as they investigate career and education pathways.
This past Monday, our Career Day focused on inviting alumni back to school. In a wonderful year of 25th anniversary celebrations, we were thrilled to welcome back 25 alumni who not only shared where life’s journey has taken them, but also participated in the launch of our new mentorship program, ASK (Alumni Sharing Knowledge). Thanks to the amazing work and support of Erin McDonald (Southridge’s Alumni Coordinator) and the Mentorship Committee of the Alumni Association, we have now paired all of our Grade 11 students with a mentor from a career or university program that matches their interests. Between October and June, our mentors and mentees will connect a minimum of six times to discuss post-secondary plans. Our mentors will talk about preparing for career and education highlighting topics such as:
- How to choose a campus - advice about developing a personal list of criteria for where you want to live and study?
- How do you prepare for the applications and admissions process for various colleges and universities?
- What are important factors for choosing an undergraduate degree, what faculty and program, and what lies beyond first year studies (i.e. major options and where do alumni get hired)?
- The value of experiential learning (i.e. co-operative education options)
- What options are available for research or field school or international experience?
- What are the essential skills that you develop through high school and post-secondary education that are needed in the workplace?
- How do you prepare for professional entry or graduate programs such as medicine, law, architecture, etc.?
Although the project will include specific discussion points for each connection that the students make with alumni, the interactions will flow organically, according to needs and questions that each student has as they move through their Grade 11 Career Life Education course. The Career Education Department at Southridge is thrilled to have teamed up with our Alumni Association to bring the ASK Program to life.
By Yvette Livingston, Post-Secondary and Career Education Guidance Director