As a ninth grader, Jeremy struggled to develop his Personal Graduation Plan (PGP). When his counselor asked him to think about an endorsement, or area of interest, Jeremy shrugged his shoulders. He wondered if there was an endorsement for playing football, or maybe video games. His counselor smiled and told Jeremy to look at some of the available elective courses and choose a couple that interested him for now. As Jeremy progressed through his ninth grade year, he also participated in periodic guidance lessons with the counselor related to social-emotional competencies (SEL). Even though he wasn’t quite sure about an endorsement area, Jeremy worked with his counselor to build skills like self-management and responsible decision-making. By making responsible choices and managing his time wisely, Jeremy was able to make As and Bs during his freshman year of high school.
During his tenth grade year, Jeremy’s counselor scheduled a one-on-one meeting to review his PGP. Jeremy still wasn’t sure about an area of endorsement. His favorite things were still football and video games. His counselor had him take a career interest inventory, and the results suggested that Jeremy consider careers in digital media or recreation. Jeremy’s counselor worked with him to sign up for an elective in digital technology, and she let Jeremy continue in his physical education course. Guidance lessons with the counselor continued to focus on SEL competencies, including social awareness and relationship skills. Jeremy’s counselor assured him that building relationship and social skills, as well as time-management and decision-making skills, would serve him well in any career or in college.
During the summer after his tenth grade year, Jeremy and several members of the football team volunteered at a camp for disabled youth. Jeremy spent most of his summer playing sports with children who struggled to run, throw, catch, or jump. Jeremy’s coach recognized that Jeremy, of all of the students, was patient with the children, as he showed them different ways to hold the ball or catch a pass. Jeremy enjoyed volunteering at the camp so much that the summer flew by. Jeremy’s coach told him he was a “natural,” and wondered if Jeremy had ever thought about teaching or working with children.
The first week of school his junior year, Jeremy made an appointment with his counselor. He explained how much he had enjoyed the summer camp. He shared his goal of becoming a physical education teacher or maybe a physical therapist working with children with disabilities. Jeremy’s counselor beamed at him. She pulled out his PGP, and they worked together to review his plan, deciding together on the Public Service endorsement in Teaching and Training. Jeremy’s course work for the first two years of high school fit into the plan, and his counselor was able to fill in his junior and senior years with the rest of the course work needed to complete the endorsement. In addition, she shared information with Jeremy on how to volunteer to help with the school’s Special Olympics, and she signed him up for an elective to serve as an aide in an adapted physical education course. Guidance lessons during Jeremy’s junior year addressed college and career-readiness across academic, social, and interpersonal domains.
Jeremy’s PGP was not complete until he found his personal passion, but he was moving toward his future the entire time. He was supported by a counselor who worked with him to develop competencies and skills necessary for college or career. His counselor also supported him through her willingness to work with him to complete and revise his PGP as he grew and discovered his passion. She further helped him find opportunities to explore his interests outside of the classroom. His coach supported him by recognizing a talent for working with disabled children. Jeremy’s PGP was not complete his freshman year, and his life plan changed as he grew and discovered his interests. The important thing is that Jeremy did continue to explore his interests by getting involved and taking the initiative to turn a passion into a plan for graduation, and he continued to develop social, emotional and academic competencies along the way.