High school has taught me a lot about life and how to become a mature responsible person. It has developed more than my mind, but also my character and integrity.
The greatest thing I've gotten out of my high school experience is learning to prioritize the aspects of my life and be successful in managing them. I've learned to be independent and how to teach myself.
I really feel this high school has taught me many lessons that I could not have learned anywhere else. It has pushed me to learn who I am and where I want to go. It has also provided me with the tools and skills I need to get me there.
My first class as a high school student was called Life and Employability Skills. It focused on skills for success in the classroom, in the workplace and in life. Part of the class was to take a Career Occupational Preference System test, which evaluated my interests and gave me a list of related jobs. I had to choose the three that most interested me. I did this once a year. The school then incorporated that into my learning. I went on field trips that related to the careers I was interested in. For example, I went to Mayo Clinic Hospital and to a cadaver demonstration at Grand Canyon University. I was allowed to experiment with different areas of interest by going on job shadows and participating in internships. I went on eight job shadows of my choice and participated in four internships. This helped me to decide what I wanted to do with my life, and gave me firsthand experience on the job.
One of the most helpful experiences was a process in which every student is required to put together a portfolio at the end
of each year and is evaluated by two community members on their overall performance in school. Everything is combined in a portfolio, including a summary on each class, a transcript, attendance and tardy records, any discipline referrals and a progress graph. We then had a real interview, which is similar to a job interview. This is also done as part of a mandatory class called Senior Exit, where we practice filling out job applications, create a resume and fill out scholarships. It really makes you aware of your academics, progress, attendance and behavior. You then must explain yourself and make a plan to improve. This really taught me to be more responsible and to make wise decisions, because I would later be presenting them. This really encouraged me to take charge of my learning and behavior and put forth my best work.
I really feel Payson Center for Success has not prepared me for "real life" but allowed me to experience it. It allowed me to work in real life situations. I have learned how to deal with tough situations and be resilient to the negative influences around me. PCS has had a great influence on shaping my future.
I've received a challenging, insightful education. Overall, I learned to pursue what I truly love and to follow my heart, to express myself and stand up for what I believe in. I learned anything can be achieved if you set your mind to it, and I feel high school was truly a valuable learning experience altogether, I feel extremely privileged to have had such an experience.
The only thing I wish I knew was that I should have been more serious about college, sooner. I wish I would have started applying for scholarships and looked into colleges sooner.