Junior Jumpstart helps students plan for after high school

The Junior Jumpstart event this morning gave students valuable college and career information


Bella Kim

Students sitting in the PAC for Junior Jumpstart while Mr. Garcia speaks.

Bella Kim, Staff Writer

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Today, Wednesday, April 26, Los Alamitos High School counselors and the College and Career Center held Junior Jumpstart. At 8 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center, juniors gathered to learn about planning their futures and receive a Chick-Fil-A breakfast. Attendees were also entered into a raffle for a free senior parking pass. 

“Juniors should attend so they know what they need to think about and be prepared for as 12th graders – senior year classes, college applications, career exploration, etc.,” Mr. Garcia, Los Al counselor, wrote in an email prior to Junior Jumpstart. He spoke during the presentation about post-high school paths like joining the military or getting an apprenticeship to pursue a skilled trade. 

The PAC was filled with juniors as counselors laid out college and career options and how to have a productive summer. Dr. Lewis, Los Al’s College Readiness Counselor, emphasized that senior year is approaching fast, and fall is too late to start planning. She recommended getting a summer job for work experience and visiting possible college campuses. 

Los Al counselors Mr. Riehm, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Riekenburg, and Ms. Davenport in the PAC for Junior Jumpstart. (Bella Kim)

“Junior Jumpstart is intended to get 11th graders thinking about what is needed of them as they finish off 11th grade and prepare for their final year of high school,” Mr. Garcia said. 

“I’m excited; a little nervous,” junior Addison Hermann said, referring to her upcoming senior year. 

Both Mr. Garcia and Dr. Lewis referenced the resources on Naviance, a website that helps students plan for after high school and research college and career paths. Dr. Lewis also talked about the process for summer school to make up requirements for graduation or retake failed A-G classes. 

“It was helpful to learn about the different types of applications [and] that Naviance had scholarship opportunities that you could look for,” Hermann said after the event. 

Andrew Kim, junior, also said that he already knew some of the information, but that the event served as a refresher. 

“I’ve been researching about college, so it’s not really anything new,” junior Hayden Vong said. 

The juniors who attended were sent off to first period with Chick-Fil-A breakfast sandwiches; many students expressed worry or stress about college and their upcoming senior year, so Junior Jumpstart was a great way for Los Al to help them feel more prepared. For juniors who missed the presentation, the information will be shared with all students and parents.