College Board also reports that less than one-third of school counselors collaborate with community organizations to provide students and families with essential postsecondary information. Former College Board staff member Carol Easterday, who now is a school counselor in Westfield, concurs. “Schools have not taken full advantage of the incredible support that the community stands ready to provide,” Easterday said. “Instead of feeling isolated, we just need to be more proactive in engaging the talent we have in our own backyard.”
Parents also need to be proactive. Cynthia Cain, who is a school counselor in Crawford County, implored, “Don’t be afraid to come in. Don’t be afraid to make that phone call or send that e-mail. Advocate for your student. Come in and see us. That’s what we’re here for.”
Families, school counselors, community organizations and mentors also can utilize several free resources located on TripToCollege.org. The web site provides links to the state’s “Learn More” initiative, helps students compare college costs through the Indiana College Cost Estimator and also links to several scholarship sites.
The positive impact of these many efforts will be apparent when postsecondary success and economic opportunity become everyday expectations instead of a remarkable surprise.
Bill Stanczykiewicz, former Anderson radio sports announcer, is president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.