Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 22, 2013

Closing the deal in Lawrence

Students prepare for life after high school

LOUISA — A year ago, the lieutenant governor and assorted dignitaries were at Lawrence County High School to kick off its Close the Deal program to prepare seniors for post-secondary education.

This year, Abramson didn’t make the trip to Louisa, so only the important people were there  — 140 seniors who are poised to take the giant step into life after high school.

On Monday, the seniors met and talked with local businesspeople, some of them Lawrence County graduates, to discuss college plans and career paths.

They also met with college officials from Morehead State University, Ashland Community and Technical College, the University of Kentucky and Alice Lloyd College to learn more about admissions applications, financial aid and college life and expectations.

The goal is to encourage the seniors to maintain focus on their higher education goals through their final year in high school.

“The emphasis is on post-secondary education and setting goals early,” said guidance counselor Luanne Finley. “We don’t want them to have to scramble around in May.”

Although not there in person, Abramson spoke via a prerecorded video. The program was created when Abramson was mayor of Louisville and saw many students didn’t know what they would do after graduating.

That was the big question for Haley Diamond, who said, “We just want to find out what life is like after high school. We’ve been babied since day one.”

“I want to know about affordability, scholarships and grants,” said Lydia Fann. “Everyone is going through rough times and it’s my No. 1 concern.”

The importance of planning can’t be overestimated, Finley said. Financial aid applications, for instance, have January deadlines and need to be completed early.

The program also can be useful to students who anticipate being the first in their families to attend college because the process is complex. “There’s a lot of paperwork and I don’t know how to fill it out,” said Christy Adams. She gets some help from her parents, but the process is new to them, too.

 Lawrence County was among the first contingent of schools to adopt the program when Abramson took it statewide last year and it apparently has worked well, Superintendent Mike Armstrong said. About 96 percent of last year’s seniors were accepted into either college, trade school, the armed forces or another kind of post-secondary education.

Lawrence County has increased its college and career readiness rate — a top priority in Kentucky’s accountability system — and Armstrong anticipates further improvement.

The small-group discussions with area professionals was a key component, he said. The groups were more personal and less intimidating and made it easier to keep focused.

Heath Preston, a school board member who manages a heavy-equipment business, said he could provide insights into successful job interviewing. “I’ve had more than 1,000 employees and seen all aspects of kids entering the workplace, so I can tell them what employers look for,” Preston said.

Also participating in the program this year will be Greenup County High School, which will have its event today. Abramson is scheduled to attend, district spokeswoman Scarlet Shoemaker said.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Kentucky gets driver’s license extension

    Kentuckians don’t have to worry about their driver’s licenses for another year.

    August 1, 2014

  • Local entrepreneurs learning to thrive

    Local business owners and entrepreneurs sat down together with community leaders to share ideas for how to help each other thrive in eastern Kentucky’s economic climate.

    August 1, 2014

  • RONNIE ELLIS: Truth and politics don’t always mix

    On this, the most political weekend of the year in Kentucky, the weekend of the wonderfully unique Fancy Farm Picnic, it’s hard to write a column on politics.

    August 1, 2014

  • In Kentucky, execution debate finds new footing

    With a spate of botched executions across the country this year looming over their discussion, Kentucky lawmakers are revisiting some fundamental questions about the death penalty, including whether the state should keep it on the books.

    August 1, 2014

  • Families invited for Fun in the Park

     Free cotton candy, hot dogs and entertainment for an entire day is what Bridges Christian Church in Russell is offering local families during Fun in the Park this weekend.
     

    August 1, 2014

  • AEP reports stolen copper, fence damage

     All that glitters is not gold — sometimes, it's also copper.
     

    August 1, 2014

  • Probe of Fairview begins

    Four investigators from the state Office of Education Accountability spent much of Thursday interviewing school officials in a probe of alleged school law violations in the Fairview Independent School District.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grant helps Elliott County High School with $1.7 million geothermal renovation

    Elliott County School District Superintendent Dr. Carl Potter II remembers the night a few years ago when the lights went out in the middle of an Elliott County boys basketball game and interrupted it for some 20 minutes while the lights powered up.

    July 31, 2014

  • Heroin overdose deaths continue to rise

    The Kentucky state legislature passed a sweeping overhaul to its prescription drug law in the summer of 2012 after a flood of overdose deaths, making it significantly harder for people to access dangerous addictive drugs from doctors.

    July 31, 2014

  • Morehead man faces drug charges

    A Morehead man is facing multiple drug charges after taking possession of a suspicious package mailed to his home on Dillon Lane, according to the Kentucky State Police.

    July 31, 2014