On Your Way to Graduating
Wow! Can you believe it’s August already? You’re in school and back into the routine of the classroom. For those of us entering or continuing high school, this time can be challenging as we begin to ask ourselves questions like “Will I have enough credits to graduate?” or “I’ve had a lot of moves throughout my high school years—will I be eligible for graduation?”
And those aren't the only questions on our mind. Even if we know that we need to graduate, we may be thinking other things like: "Where will I live once I turn eighteen?"
Understanding what our challenges are for the upcoming year and what kind of support might help is one key step to keeping us on the path to graduating. Check out the full list of tips to make it a great school year!
- Get excited about your path to graduating! By choosing to graduate high school, you are investing in yourself and your future. A high school diploma is your foundation to bigger and greater things ahead.
- If you are behind in school, ask for help. Moving from school to school due to placement changes or other reasons may cause you to fall behind. If this happens, your school counselor, teachers, and other supportive adults can be a great resource to help get you back on track and stay on track.
- Start thinking about what you want to do after high school and what you might need to help get you there. Understand the different options you have after high school. This also includes understanding your needs outside of school such as housing or transportation that may make it harder to graduate or pursue your goals after high school. If you have questions or concerns, reach out to your school counselor and supportive adults for help.
- Meet with your School Counselor to talk about your options after high school. Your school counselor is a professional who is there to help you stay on track to graduating and plan for life after high school.
- Build relationships with adults you trust, will listen to your concerns, make time for you, and advocate on your behalf—a.k.a. supportive adults. There’s a myth that successful people are “self-made”. The truth is no one can do it alone. Being able to ask for help is one of the biggest keys to success that rarely gets talked about. So, connect with adults in your school, community, and family that will listen to your concerns, provide advice or guidance, and empower you to reach your goals and be the best version of yourself.
- Ask your caseworker for help. Your caseworker has access to information that will help you reach your goal of graduating from high school. They can work with your teacher and other school personnel to get you the help you need. Need help getting tutoring? Do you have questions about transportation or graduation cap and gown? Your caseworker should know about these opportunities and more.
- Get to know what Chafee/ETV funds are available to you as a youth with foster care experience. Financial assistance through the Chafee/ETV Program is available for youth in and formerly in foster care to help them meet their goals with education, housing, employment, and more. Make sure you understand what is available and contact the Chafee/ETV Program staff for help. Your caseworker should know about these opportunities.
- Self-advocate! The path to graduating, and even after high school, can be a bumpy one, but being able to advocate for yourself will help make it easier. Understand your needs, know what kind of support might help, and communicate those needs with the supportive adults in your life.