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Workshop helps students prepare for college decisions

Trevor Thomas, left, and Kaleb Thomas attend a college-bound workshop July 14 in Brighton.
Trevor Thomas, left, and Kaleb Thomas attend a college-bound workshop July 14 in Brighton.

BRIGHTON – Going to college is one of the most important decisions that one can make in life.

Deciding which school to choose, determining whether or not to move away from your hometown, and picking the path that will allow you to follow your dreams for the rest of your life are among the most stressful decisions anyone can make—and for some tribal members the process for this major decision started early.

Six students from the Brighton Reservation attended a college-bound workshop July 14 as part of Higher Education’s Summer Program where they learned more about college choices, SAT/ACT needs, deadlines, and the college application process.

“What we were taught was very inspirational about what we’re supposed to do in the future and our careers,” said Kaleb Thomas, 14.

Students learned about what extracurricular activities they can get involved in to stay ahead of the game, strategies on how to choose the right school that fits them individually, and study tips for standardized tests.

“Every student is unique; however, tribal students are that much more unique,” said Higher Ed program manager Edward Amador, who hosted the workshop. “You try to bring out the passion from within the tribal student; the reasons why they go to school comes from within their hearts.”

Students enjoyed sandwiches, fried chicken, fruit, dessert and beverages as they learned about the differences between 2-year and 4-year colleges. Other key points that were discussed were institution size, location, academic programs, campus life, costs, diversity, and retention and graduation rates.

Trevor Thomas, 17, said he wants to prepare himself so that he’s not behind.

The workshop focused on self-exploration and exercises that revolved around success, career exploration, jobs available, interests, and abilities.

Students watched an engaging video and listened to a guest speaker to help them with their quest. All of them had ideas about where they already see themselves in the future, whether it is baseball, theology or philosophy, physical therapy, or the law.

“Make sure that you’re passionate about what you’re doing so that you’re successful,” said Brydgett Koontz, 18.

The workshops were also offered in Fort Pierce, Hollywood, Trail, Big Cypress, Immokalee, Tampa and Naples in June and July.