Congratulations, 2019 Graduates!

By Mackenzi Frederick
Posted 5/9/19

As spring wakens the land - days lengthen, blossoms grace trees and the acequias run - the call to celebrate certain rites of passage reverberates within our community. Soon, hundreds of high school …

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Congratulations, 2019 Graduates!

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As spring wakens the land - days lengthen, blossoms grace trees and the acequias run - the call to celebrate certain rites of passage reverberates within our community. Soon, hundreds of high school seniors will graduate and make their next moves into adulthood. Many students have recently earned their High School Equivalencies, and are transitioning into their next adventure. We note the University of New Mexico- Taos students who have just completed a certification or an associate degree as a step on a longer journey leading into the workforce or in pursuit of a bachelor's degree. In addition, many of our former clients are graduating from colleges and universities across the country.

The staff and board of directors at Bridges Project for Education would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to these graduates and our deep appreciation for those who supported them along the way. Parents, guardians, grandparents, families and allies - you helped guide, nourish and nurture these students. Teachers, staff, guidance counselors, advocates and administrators - you helped your many students learn, grow and thrive - and shepherded another class over this threshold. Your collective efforts have helped them succeed on their path.

Bridges is grateful to have accompanied many of these students throughout the complex process of applying to schools and for financial aid and scholarships, and to provide emotional as well as logistical support. We applaud your efforts, your willingness to persevere through this process and your diverse trajectories. We hope that your choices and actions will lead you to achieving your dreams and goals.

Next steps

Students who've already applied to colleges and universities will have hopefully received a letter of acceptance and associated financial aid offer. Bridges can help students decipher and compare all packages. Some students have already made their decision - for them it's time to pay an admissions deposit and complete mandatory paperwork.

Most four-year schools mandate that first-year students live on campus, since research asserts that when students reside on campus they tend to get involved in the school's community, are aware of and able to access supports and generally see improvements in their learning and grades. Those who will live on campus need to choose their accommodation type, their roommates and meal plan. All students can look ahead to the fall and plan for their new student orientation and other school requirements. Bridges can help with any of this.

Summer postsecondary counseling

Bridges' counselors will be available throughout the summer. We can assist those high school seniors, high school equivalency recipients and nontraditional age students who still need support in researching and applying to colleges, completing the FAFSA and scholarship applications for the 2019-2020 academic year. Some colleges, particularly those with open admissions, are still accepting applications. The FAFSA closes on June 30, so you have a few months left to apply for 2019-2020 financial aid for some schools. Scholarships have variable deadlines.

We invite rising seniors and younger high school students who want to plan ahead or get started working through their process to make an appointment with us. We also support current college students, whether or not they've previously met with us. We can help enrolled students overcome some of the challenges that postsecondary programs can present and stay the course to completion.

Bridges provides free, comprehensive and individualized admissions and financial aid counseling for students of all ages. Come talk to us if you're considering attending a technical or vocational program, aiming toward a two- or four-year degree, or if you're already enrolled in a postsecondary program and need some assistance. Call (575) 758-5074 or email us info@bridgesproject.org to schedule an appointment.

Mackenzi Frederick is a college counselor and development coordinator at Bridges Project for Education. Bridges has offered free, individualized postsecondary counseling services since 1997.

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