Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
Dana Hills High School hosted its first College and Career event, “Beyond the Pod,” on Nov. 7-8, to help senior students navigate their next steps after graduation.
According to student-provided information, approximately 40% of students don’t go to a four-year university after high school. With this information, DHHS Assistant Principal Luci Coppola helped plan Beyond the Pod, so all students are supported and have resources for whichever path they choose post-graduation.
“We want students to feel supported,” Coppola said. “Whichever path they choose, we want to provide the resources in order for them to succeed.”
Students had the opportunity to submit a college application with the assistance of parent volunteers and partners from local community colleges and California State Universities. There were also military representatives who spoke with students about recruitment.
The event took place during school hours and provided separate areas for scholarship and financial aid workshops, as well as a room for each path, including UCs, CSUs, military and Marines, community colleges, trade schools and the workforce.
Madison Caldwell is a senior at DHHS who participated in the Beyond the Pod program. She says the application process could have been overwhelming had there not been staff to guide her through.
“It helped me apply to college, and I had lots of questions on what to do,” Caldwell said. “I asked questions I probably wouldn’t have been able to answer without the help of the advisers here.”
Lillian Boyd is the senior editor for Picket Fence Media and city editor for Dana Point Times. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Humboldt State University. Her work experience includes interviewing incarcerated individuals in the Los Angeles County jails, an internship at the Pentagon covering U.S. Army news as well as reporting and anchoring for a local news radio station in Virginia. Follow her on Twitter @Lillianmboyd and follow Dana Point Times at @danapointtimes.