Our Turn: The cap and gown is not the end
By Anavay White
12th grade, NCSS
Once you graduated high school, did you ever want to return? This might make plenty of people nervous, but this is not the case for some Northwoods Community Secondary School students that have graduated in years past. NCSS students return to give a helping hand to the classes and share successes with younger students. Here at NCSS, we give our students many opportunities not only in school but also when they graduate from school. Our alumni have the option to come back to help out in the classroom and visit friends from earlier years to inspire students to graduate and continue learning. Graduates serve as positive examples for the next class.
We have had students come back to the classroom and sit for a day to help us with our projects. In one case, in my classroom, a past graduate came in and helped produce a video. This student had 100s of hours of experience in video production and she helped the class make a very professional video celebrating veterans. The class learned new techniques in lighting and editing from her expertise. The video turned out wonderfully and is viewable on Youtube by searching “Veterans Day NCSS.” This also helped the graduate develop her expertise. Even if you graduate, that doesn’t mean you are done learning, you just have to use what you learned in the real world.
In another example, a student had the chance to stop by to talk about some life choices that he made after high school. He was able to talk about going into the military and how his senior year taught him how to stay on task and have a goal. Now, he not only has a goal to be in the military, but he also wants to go to college. He found a way that would work with him in order to do both. He was also able to talk in front of a group of students and answer questions about being in the military and all the opportunities this gives him. This was very informative for students. It was also a great motivator to see someone who graduated working hard toward success.
Some students come back to help or give presentations and some just come to say hello and thank the teachers for helping them to grow into the adult they are now. A good friend of mine has come in a few times and she was able to talk to some of the teachers who helped her to graduate. These teachers helped show her a different view on life. These are often more of a fun visit, but who said school isn’t fun sometimes?
Would I come back to visit the school I graduated from? Yes, I think that I would, but not for just one of these reasons but for all of them. I am thankful that some of my old peers come back to share their stories, help me reach my goals, and to just see how things are going. This really helps me and others around me know that high school isn’t the end or our education. We never stop learning and helping.