By: Ava Genho, Headwaters Rapp Writing Intern
The famous Room 2 in Rappahannock County High School (RCHS) is a place that many students use for their benefit. It is where the Profile of A Graduate (POG) team resides.
POG is a program that focuses on the knowledge, skills, experiences, and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college, the workforce, and life in general.
The program starts in elementary school with career assessments.
RCHS’s POG team consists of three key members: Profile of a Graduate Coordinator Jenny Kapsa,, Virginia College Advising Corps College Adviser Lee Bernstein, and Career Coach Lisa Heiser.
Kapsa’s duties include working on local scholarships, planning special events and camps for students, and gathering members of the community to help assist in events.
One of her many tasks is working with seniors to make sure their resumes are complete by putting together a resume workshop and setting up mock interviews. This helps students receive resume feedback from community members and learn how to interview for job positions.
Kapsa is also in charge of many camps and workshops offered by the school system including last year’s Wonderful Wednesday Program.
This program recruited high school students to counsel younger students during remote school days on Wednesdays. The counselors were paid and learned just as much as the campers did by becoming strong leaders.
There were over 150 local students who participated.
Kapsa gathered community members to help run workshops for the students including outdoor activities, a yoga workshop, career exploration, and much more.
Bernstein is the RCHS Virginia College Advising Corps College Adviser which is part of a national program based at many universities that place recent college graduates into local high schools.
She serves all students in the high school with a focus on juniors and seniors.
Her main goal is to help seniors apply for college and pursue a four-year college degree, but she also helps provide students with resources for futures in all pathways, whether it be community college or trade school.
Much of her time is spent in one-on-one meetings with students, helping prepare them for their post-graduate plans along with providing research on their future paths.
She has many different ways to get students thinking about post-graduate planning , including Make A Plan (MAP) workshops, college representative visits, college school visits, and class breakout sessions where students talk about different pathways after high school.
Heiser is the Career Coach for RCHS on behalf of Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC).
She helps students take courses through LFCC so they can obtain college credits while still in high school.
She is also in charge of working directly with LFCC’s Workforce Solutions to help students get into trade programs or other trade schools.
Additionally, she helps with senior meetings, scholarship applications, and college applications.
However, her primary focus is on students taking dual enrollment courses through LFCC and those wishing to pursue a trade. Former graduates can even return for assistance from Heiser.
The POG team’s goal is to ensure that all students have a plan after high school.
Many students are thankful for the POG team including RCHS senior Brealyn Steward, who stated, “The POG team has been so helpful through the college application process. They encourage and support every decision I make, and remind everyone of their self-worth.”
Finding a pathway after high school can be difficult, but the POG team is helping students overcome these worries and excel in their post-graduate life.
Published by Luke Ellis, Headwaters’ Rapp Writing Intern
Re-published by MadRapp Recorder