Preparing For a Bright Future
Alex Bohannon is the kind of student who plans ahead. That quality led Alex to Y programs that helped him prepare for high school, college and his future career. The summer before his freshman year of high school, Alex was a member of the inaugural class of the Prep for Success Summer Academy, part of the Graduating Our Future (GOF) Collaborative to address high school graduation through a multi-level approach at the high school and middle school levels. GOF is funded by the United Way and implemented by the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina.
“The transition from middle to high school is so important because you have to mature so much to handle all the new freedoms,” Alex shared. Alex successfully navigated the transition. Following his term as Student Body President at Parkland Magnet High School last year, he will attend Elon University this fall.
“If you go to high school without knowing what you want to achieve, you’ll spend time adjusting when you could be achieving,” Alex recently reflected on his experience. “My advice for incoming high school students is that proper planning prevents poor performance.” The two-week Prep for Success program helps students know what to expect in the upcoming school year. Participants become familiar with the school campus, meet their teachers and get a sneak peak of course work. “Prep for Success paved the way for relationships I built with teachers and students,” Alex said. “I know it helped me be more successful in my freshman year.”
Later in high school, Alex joined the YMCA Black Achievers, a career mentoring program, to help him prepare for his next goal: college. The program includes career-focused tracks (Alex chose fiscal management), as well as community speakers and discussions on topics like how to dress for success. As Alex excelled during high school, serving as class president each year in addition to numerous extracurricular activities, he gravitated to the study of government and the legislative process. The YMCA Youth & Government program he joined his senior year solidified that passion. Alex was drawn to the mock legislative sessions and bill debates (and was one of the students awarded Best Debater at the Spring 2012 Conference). He saw a career path forming, “I felt I could really be a part of the government or legislative process as a career and I could be good at it.”
Check out more about Alex’s story and his tips for a successful high school experience here.