Kamiah High School participated in "Next Steps" with a series of activities and events intended to empower juniors and seniors to make informed decisions about their futures.

KAMIAH -- Idaho Gov. Brad Little proclaimed October as “Next Steps” month in Idaho, encouraging Idaho juniors and seniors to start thinking seriously about plans for life after high school.

With the goal of empowering high school juniors and seniors to make informed decisions about their futures, Kamiah High School provided a series of activities and events intended to be fun and informative.

All students were invited to participate in “College and Careers Networking Bingo,” a game designed to encourage students to practice the important life skill of networking as they learned fun facts about faculty and staff at Kamiah High School. Students were also encouraged to wear the apparel or colors of their favorite colleges on “Show Your Colors” day.

Juniors and seniors had an opportunity to visit with representatives from local colleges including Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College, and the University of Idaho to learn about the programs and learning environments offered at the institutions. The overarching goal of all presenters was to help students identify the program of study and learning environment that was right for them.

Seniors and their parents had an opportunity to attend FAFSA night to work through the process of preparing the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid.” Completing a FAFSA is necessary to qualify students for most financial aid, including federal grants, loans and work study programs. The application is also used to determine eligibility for many other scholarships and is strongly recommended by most post-secondary institutions.

Activities culminated during College Application Week Oct. 21-24. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, more than 20 seniors completed a college application through “Apply Idaho,” a website managed by the Idaho State Board of Education that allows students to apply to up to ten Idaho colleges or universities without paying an application fee.

Submitting an application does not commit a student to attending an institution, but it ensures ongoing communication with the university or college, and it preserves the option for a student to enroll in classes fall semester 2020.

College Application Week concluded with the chance for qualifying students to apply for the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, a scholarship established by the Idaho legislature which provides eligible applicants up to $3,500 per academic year for up to four years. To be eligible, students must have a 2.7 cumulative GPA and they must complete a FAFSA by March 1.

While “Next Steps” month is officially over, the work to help Kamiah students prepare for life after high school will continue through the school year. Parents are strongly encouraged to continue the dialog at home. The State of Idaho offers a great resource in the website which provides tools for planning for the future and paying for trade school or college.

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