Patriot Alumni Panel Successful
By Doug Gertner
Ever wonder what happens when a diverse group of George Washington alumni gather during their Winter Break to share with the GWHS community their own experience of searching for and going to college? That's just what happened on Jan. 6, when 11 recent graduates assembled for the Patriot Alumni Panel. The panelists represented in- and out-of-state schools, large and small, public and private, including community college, and transfer students; six were IB graduates, five had taken AP and other tracks through George. (Two additional IB grads were in the audience and introduced themselves briefly.) The questions they answered were about how they selected and transitioned to their respective schools, and what they have learned along the way.
The panelists were amazing, offering honest, thorough information, examples and wisdom that impressed and informed the audience of current GW students and parents. Panel members represented the best of a wide spectrum of George Washington High School's students and their advice was invaluable to everyone who turned out to hear them. Among the nuggets they shared with GW students and parents looking toward life after George:
- Work with the Future Center and the helpful counselors at GW. Parents, let other knowledgeable people help your kids on the college planning path.
- It's great to dream, and you need to be realistic too. How much is college debt worth to you?
- Parents, set expectations early. Tell students what you can afford, how much you expect them to contribute, and what other expenses to consider beyond classes, books, and room and board.
- Parents, when you are having one of many college conversations with your child, set expectations for the conversation. What is on the table to discuss now? Keep it focused to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
- Students, you can change schools and majors once you start college. Several members of the panel are not attending the school where they went their freshman year. Most were in the process of selecting a major rather than deciding before entering.
- Many panel members emphasized the importance of being involved in college by joining clubs and organizations. These extracurricular activities have enhanced their enjoyment of the college experience.
Thanks to the George faculty including Ms. Richason, administration (especially Mr. Martinez and Mary Lane), Student Council, Future Center (Ms. Hall), IB (Melanie and Marjie), IBPA (Maura Mackintosh and Jon Sarche) and parents (Erin Gatlin, Libby Neid), along with our great alumni panel for making this a true One George event. Keep an eye out next fall for notice of next year's panel and mark your calendar for an informative evening of college prep, not to be missed by any GW family.
Your 2016 Patriot Alumni Panel members are: Sydney Sibelius, Scripps College; Claire Baker, Vassar College; Margaret Schaack, Georgetown University; Hannah Walker, George Washington University; Zach Segall, Grinnell College; Monay Turnbough, University of Colorado at Denver; Jacob Sorokin, Colorado State University; Alex Ackerman, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Natyely Soza, Colorado State University; Ajonte (AJ) Hinton (2015), Community College of Denver; and Tashan Montgomery (2015), University of Denver.
Also attending as additional resources were: Haley Perry, Lewis & Clark College; and Allison DeSarro, UNC at Chapel Hill.--