Last Thursday, on October 20th, TAF Academy hosted its annual College and Career Fair for its 304 middle and high school students. In-line with TAF Academy’s goal of opening student’s eyes to the wide range of possibilities in their future, the school hosted on of the highest number of participants in its history.
In all, thirteen Washington State colleges along with five out-of-state colleges set up booths to answer student questions about qualifications for admission. Of the out-of-state colleges, two Ivy League universities. The event didn’t only focus on college, but also how to get to college and available career paths upon graduating. Three Washington State scholarship organizations, six businesses and four nonprofits also sent representatives on their behalf.
With so many organizations and colleges represented, it was an opportunity for students to make an impression as well. Although only a portion of students in attendance were seniors, all of them benefited from their conversations with the college representatives — if only for practice — because they knew that it was one of the first steps and conversations to be had prior to applying for college.
At the Fair, TAF students explored possible futures in technology, biomedical research, data analysis, banking, community outreach, nonprofits and education. They were able to weigh the pros and cons of attending a neighborhood school like Highline College to other schools like Yale, Wesleyan and Harvard located on the other side of the country. The Act 6 and Washington Opportunity Scholarship shared exciting opportunities of how students can attend college in Washington State for much lower costs.
A representative from Bellevue College observed that she heard ” better questions from [TAF’s] 6th and 7th graders than I usually hear from high school students at other fairs.” For juniors and seniors, it was time to narrow down their college application lists. For middle school students, it was a jumping-off point for their entire college-going journey.
This year, twenty-five 8th graders from Saghalie Middle School joined the TAF Academy students to get a taste of TAD’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) programming — something they have to look forward to when TAF joins Saghalie’s campus next year.
Over the course of the remaining school year, students will continue to be exposed to college and career readiness exercises to prepare them for a successful future in whatever the path they feel best suits them. TAF aims to equip students with the tools they meed to realize their dreams and reach their full potential by providing programs like CCR, corporate internships, traveling opportunities, and industry site visits.
At the culmination of their learning experience at TAF Academy, the hope is that all students have been empowered and activated to contribute to society using at full capacity.