National trends, jobs data, and local community leaders agree – A college education means more opportunities in life.
In Humboldt County, we all want a bright future for our children and grandchildren, and we want our community to thrive. But our students are less likely to take college prep classes than their peers statewide. They have ambitions for a better life, but they’re being limited early on.
Let’s change that.
Get Ready Humboldt is a community endeavor to inspire our students and make sure their families know how to help.
Employers talk about the need for college
CEO, Sun Valley Floral Farms
Senior Vice President, Green Diamond Resource Co.
Tribal Gaming Commission Chairman, Blue Lake
Reasons to Attend College
Local families helping their student get ready
Amber Madrone-Anderson & Family
Amber Madrone-Anderson and her husband Brandon Anderson have five children: Sergio Madrone (19), Ray Madrone (17), Victor Madrone (16), Gabriella Anderson (11), and Gavin Anderson (9).
Amber says she has always talked the kids quite a bit about college. “We talk about the whole experience. How different it is from high school, the choices they will get to make and how college is a great way to explore things you may have never thought about. In addition to this, we talk about how many more options they will have as far as a career. And of course we talk about how much fun college life is and the life-long friends I have made in college.”
Samantha Chojnacki and Maria Baron
Samantha is a senior at Six Rivers Charter High School, and the youngest of Maria’s four daughters. One issue that came up last year is that Samantha wasn’t sure about taking all the “A-G” college prep classes. Her mom says: “My husband and I feel it’s important to create options for what she wants to do after high school, and part of that is her finishing her A-G requirements.” Since then, Samantha has visited some college campuses, and she sees the value of keeping her options open.
Annika and Johanna Mauro
Annika is a senior at Arcata High School, and is right in the midst of the college search process. For her mom, Johanna, cost is a concern, but she has long been committed to helping her daughter go to college. "I think I always assumed my children would go to college, so when we talked about it, we used words like, ‘When you go to college…’ I would also talk about my college experiences in a positive light.”
Getting Ready for College
- Make sure your student is taking classes that get them ready for the “A-G” college prep classes in high school.
- Encourage your student to study hard and try to earn A’s and B’s in their classes.
- Talk with your student frequently about why college is important.
- Help your student find ways to get involved in school activities and community service.
- Make a four-year plan for your student to finish takes classes from the “A-G” college prep classes during high school
- Have your student take the PSAT exam. It’s good practice for the SAT exam in 11th grade, and it gets your student’s name out there so colleges can start recruiting them.
- Set aside a specific time each month to talk about getting ready for college.
- Read through some online information about college. It helps to know what’s available.
- Make sure your student takes the SAT exam. They might also want to take the ACT, though usually that’s not needed in California.
- Encourage your student to prepare for the SAT. There are many options, including this free tool from Khan Academy.
- Review the A-G college prep classes and make sure your student is on track.
- If you are able, take your student for an in-person visit to some colleges.
- Make sure your student completes the A-G college prep classes. Don’t let “senioritis” ruin their hard work.
- If your student hasn’t taken the SAT, or wants to try for a better score, get that done early in the school year.
- Apply for state and federal financial aid by completing the FAFSA financial aid form starting in October the year BEFORE your student starts college.
- Have talks about life goals and careers, and encourage your student to take an online career assessment.
Classes and grades aren’t everything. Here are traits that make a big difference, you can improve, and employers really value.