McNary’s new College and Career counselor hopes to increase student involvement

McNary High School recently welcomed Kim Conolly, the new College and Career Center counselor, to their staff.

Conolly started on Sept. 7, the same day that the freshmen began school. She admitted that it was a little overwhelming but also an exciting opportunity. Over 187 students have met with Conolly already.

“Getting ahead and upstream is really important to me. I want to help students prepare for their pathway and understand that they have many options,” she said.

The center offers a wide variety of resources, advice and help with essays, resumes, FAFSA and scholarships.

With classes being mostly online last year and the year before that, many students felt discouraged when it came to their plans after high school

“It’s very easy to feel like there are not a lot of options, especially when you’ve spent a year at home,” Conolly said.

Conolly wants students to know that they can expect to walk away with more options than they thought they had. These options include different colleges, trade schools, military and career opportunities.

In the future, Connolly hopes to get more students involved in the College and Career Center to help other students.

“My goal in spring is to have a cohort of seniors who can help the juniors get up and going on their college process or their career process,” she said.

Conolly is looking into getting students involved with an apprenticeship program through the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. This would give students internship or job-shadowing opportunities in the community.

She is also currently trying to get more colleges involved with the center through events and workshops that would provide more information to students and parents.