"How many of you know that you're going to go to college?" asked Jacob Hosley of a group of around 50 high school-aged students at MennoCon on Tuesday afternoon.
A couple hands went up.
"How many of you don't know what you're going to do after high school?"
A field of hands raise, some tentative and wavy, some more confident and boldly unsure.
It's a daunting task, choosing what's next for after high school. It comes with a plethora of hard questions. Should I go to college? Where should I go to college? What do I study? Should I take a gap year instead? What if I change my mind? What if I choose wrong? It's a stressful time with life-altering decisions to be made.
A panel of representatives from several Mennonite schools and organizations set out to make those questions slightly less daunting for a group of students on Tuesday afternoon at MennoCon. The seminar was hosted by Luke Litwiller, director of admissions at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Other representatives were:
- Nate Kroeker, admissions counselor at Bethel (Kansas) College
- Brianna Ferris, transfer admissions counselor at Bluffton (Ohio) University
- Jacob Hosley, admissions counselor at Eastern Mennonite University (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
- Kellam Venosky, admissions counselor at Goshen (Indiana) College
- Luke Allison (admissions counselor) and Grant Meyers (vice president of enrollment) from Hesston (Kansas) College
- Michael Oyer, placement coordinator at Mennonite Mission Network
Each school's representative had the opportunity to talk about what their school offers in terms of courses, campus, and community. They spoke about small- or medium-town appeal, community events, sporting teams, extracurriculars, opportunities to study abroad, and more, as well as the opportunity to learn and get a degree, of course.
Oyer spoke about Mission Network's Service Adventure program, a 10-month service program for young adults ages 17-20 as an alternative to jumping right back into school. Service Adventure allows participants to explore their faith and get real-world experiences outside of the classroom setting.
Finding an answer to all the questions that come with finishing high school is challenging, but the choices presented at MennoCon are all fantastic organizations that seek to provide students and participants with faith-based learning opportunities and communities. For more information about the above organizations, visit their booths at MennoCon or their websites.
Eastern Mennonite University
Mennonite Mission Network