Library Explores Post-High School Options

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Library Explores Post-High School Options

By Emma Boczek

Mill Valley Public Library’s November 1 First Thursday event for high school students, “What Now?” explored the stories of individuals who decided to forgo college immediately following their high school years.

Seven adults spoke on the panel, which was an informal discussion that explored the advantages and disadvantages of alternatives to college.

This year marks the third “What Now?” event, organized by young adult librarian Katie MacBride and based on an idea by 2012 Tam graduate Maggie Whalen and former Tam News reporter.

“I really only hear one narrative – graduate high school and go to college,” MacBride said. “‘What Now?’ isn’t designed to convince anyone to go to college or not to go to college, the goal is simply to present more narratives about what is possible.”

The panelists (Peter Conheim, Cassie Jaye, Jay McGill, Kathryn Pringle, Ben Wiessner, Allison Bryant and Abbey Kiffer) included a documentary filmmaker, a poet, and a firefighter, among others. Topics included the development of skills and the acquisition of experiences, today’s job market with and without a college degree and what it truly means to be successful.

Junior Maria Ramirez, who attended the event, said that she is conflicted regarding which path to take after high school. “My parents didn’t go to college, and now I have the opportunity to go, but I feel like I should take some time off,” she said. “I just want to experience what’s out there. I’m a very people-person; I want to do different things, I don’t want to be stuck in a classroom anymore.”

Ramirez hoped to inform herself on various post-graduation options by attending “What Now?”

“There’s a lot of people out there who are stuck and don’t know what they want to do,” she said. “I feel like there should be more options.”

First Thursdays will continue on December 6 with a “Hunger Games” themed scavenger hun