ASPIRE is the college and career advising branch of the SHS counseling office. ASPIRE provides guidance and assistance for all aspects of life after high school: college, trade school, a job, travel, or something else. While we work primarily with seniors and graduating juniors, we try to meet at least once per semester with each junior, and we are always happy to talk with 9th and 10th graders. If you are not yet working with ASPIRE, please stop by anytime and we’ll schedule a meeting.
The SHS ASPIRE website address is: https://sites.google.com/site/siuslawafterhs. There you will find information and links to colleges, scholarships, summer and part-time jobs, SAT and ACT, and more.
In addition to the help you can get from your classroom teachers, there are now several opportunities for you to receive free tutoring on campus:
Sophomore Andrea Osbon and her mom have launched a new peer tutoring program. Students are available to help with all core subject areas before school, during PRIDE, and after school. They can be found at a table near the ASPIRE office. Thanks to the following students for offering their tutoring services: Joseph Gastelum, Dani Goldblatt, Ali Huff, Kiger Johnson, Maddy Levi, Audrey Lowder, Chloe Madden, Molly McGinely, Olivia Olmstead, Andrea Osbon, and Lilly Wells, Paige Mooney.
Cindy Orr and Tim Lamb are available from the start of 7th period until 4 PM or after for math tutoring (all levels) at an upstairs table in the northwest corner of the SHS building. Cindy is there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Tim is there on Mondays and Wednesdays.
A limited amount of academic help and SAT/ACT prep is available in the ASPIRE office during the school day and after school as time permits. See Bob in ASPIRE for more information.
With exam week and the end of the first semester rapidly approaching, this is an ideal time for you to take advantage of our great tutoring opportunities. It is also the perfect time for us to remind you that grades really do matter. The better your grades, the more doors that will be open to you for jobs, college and career opportunities, scholarships, and much more!
More on the importance of grades: you will need at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA to qualify for an Oregon Promise grant (see below). The 4-year state colleges and universities typically require a 3.0 or better GPA, and many private colleges are looking for even higher grades.
Sophomores: It may seem like a long time from now, but in October you will have the opportunity to take the PSAT again, this time to find out if you qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. If you are an academically strong and motivated student, plan ahead by starting now to prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT (the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). See ASPIRE or the counseling office for details.
Something else that matters is volunteer work. In addition to the rewarding experience you will have helping others, many scholarship organizations and colleges are seeking students who volunteer in their communities. On campus, you may wish to join Rotary Interact (see club president Sam Scheer) or Kiwanis Key Club (see club president Nic Wilkinson). The ASPIRE office has a more extensive list of volunteer opportunities in the community.
If you plan to attend college, you should take the SAT or ACT in the spring of your junior year, and again in the fall of your senior year. You can take one or both as many times as you wish, and report your best scores to colleges. The SAT will be offered on March 9, May 4, and June 1. The ACT will be offered on February 9, April 13, and June 8. Registration deadlines are typically about a month in advance of the test. See ASPIRE to register and to get information about test preparation.
Wondering whether you’ll be able to afford college or trade school? The SHS counseling and ASPIRE offices work closely with about 45 different local scholarship organizations which provide $230,000 or more each year in scholarships to SHS students. Last spring, 50 graduating SHS students received one or more local scholarships. In addition, there are Federal government Pell Grants of up to $6,100 per year, state Oregon Opportunity Grants (up to $2,600 per year for community college and $3,200 per year for 4-year universities) and Oregon Promise grants for community college of up to $3,600 per year.
Summer opportunities at the University of Oregon: U of O offers one-week summer camps in a variety of subject areas to 8th through 12th graders. These camps are free to students with financial need and those who will be the first in family to attend college, or who are members of a minority group. Some camps offer housing on the U of O campus. The program is called SAIL (Summer Academy to Inspire Learning). See ASPIRE for details.
On Friday, February 22, there will be a “Future Forestry Workers Career Day” in Eugene. Participants will learn about careers in forestry, reforestation, logging, trucking, diesel mechanics, operating heavy equipment, and wildland firefighting. There will be hands-on activities and exhibits. See ASPIRE or the counseling office for details.
Interested in a career in marine science? There will be an all-day field trip to the Hatfield Marine Science Center for “Career Day” on Tuesday, April 2 (our first day back from spring break). Registration will open in January; tell Bob in ASPIRE if you are interested in participating.
If the health sciences interest you and you want to participate in the SHS Health Occupations program, you should begin your enrollment in Health Occupations in your junior year. Contact the counseling office for more information.
A recruiter from the U.S. Air Force will be in the library during PRIDE on Wednesday, January 16. Please see Bob in ASPIRE if you are interested in attending the meeting.
Did you know? College graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher will earn as much as $1,000,000 (yes, that’s 1 million dollars!) more over a lifetime than those who have only a high school diploma. (Georgetown University, 2015). Another study found that college grads between ages 25 and 32 typically earn $17,500 per year more per year than those with only a high school diploma (Pew Research Center, 2013).
Get course credit for your job! Check with the counseling office to make sure you are signed up to receive elective credit for your work experience.
Important request: If you receive a notice for a meeting with an ASPIRE volunteer, please either attend the meeting or notify the ASPIRE office that you are unable to meet at the requested time.
The annual Rotary Club “4-Way Speech Contest” will be held in April. All students in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to enter. To participate, you will need to write and present a 5 to 7-minute speech on a subject of your choice that applies the Rotary 4-Way Test. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners at the district level; the top prize is $3,500. The local contest will be held on April 4. For more details see Ms. Osbon in the counseling office or Bob in ASPIRE.
If you are preparing a resume and activity chart on CIS, you may want to work on them at home. Go to oregoncis.uoregon.edu. Username: siuslawcis. Password: cisviking. That will get you into the SHS ASPIRE account where you can then access your own account.
There is a shortage of workers in industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, and food services – and that shortage will continue to grow until at least 2030. This is according to a recent study, and it means better pay for workers in those jobs, and more women taking industrial-type jobs. You can read more under the heading “News Articles” at our ASPIRE website: sites.google.com/site/siuslawafterhs.
Check out our new videos! Go to: sites.google.com/site/siuslawafterhs/videos. You’ll find explanations of our website, FAFSA, CIS, and more. It’s a work in progress so keep checking for new videos.