The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Gap year fair showcases alternate opportunities

There are so many opportunities post high school, it’s hard to choose just one thing to do. The Gap Year Fair on Jan. 18 in the STEM wing aimed to open students eyes to these many possibilities.

The Gap Year Fair held in the STEM wing on Thursday, Jan. 18 introduced students to alternative opportunities as they approach the crossroad between high school and college.

The first part of the event was a presentation in the MLK room. This presentation detailed the different aspects of taking a gap year and why students should consider it as an option.

Junior Maxm Thompson said he thought the advice the presentation provided was good to remember.

“They were like, ‘Don’t base what you want to do off of what everyone else is doing since it’s not like everyone is going to end up doing the exact same thing anyways, and we’re all going to split off in our own ways,’” Thompson said.

After the presentation, various tables for the gap year organizations were set up around the STEM wing where students and parents were free to speak with the different organizations.

Alia Pialtos is the director of the USA Gap Fairs, as well as the CEO of Go Overseas, the organization that runs the USA Gap Fairs’ event circuit. Pialtos said they run the event to help educate, inspire and empower students to pursue meaningful gap year experiences.

“There’s that traditional path that is ingrained in high school students’ minds, and that’s not always the best path or best fit for students to take right after high school,” Pialtos said.

Pialtos said the Gap Year Fair’s goal was to help students realize that they have more ownership over their education and lives than they think they do.

“Being able to meet people who say, ‘It’s okay not to go to college. It’s okay to explore culinary school or an internship or working abroad,’ is awesome,” Pialtos said.

Ben Daley, an instructor for the program Where There Be Dragons, said taking a gap year can be helpful for high school graduates, and that it can allow them to expand their ideas of what is possible in college.

“No matter what you choose to do, as long as you put as much effort as you can into it and really invest in it, it’s going to turn out good,” Daley said.

CEO of Europe Gap Year Ricky Martin said his programs emphasize travel as a primary aspect of its gap year programs.

“I wanted people in the program to experience the most exciting cities, the most beautiful countryside and the most stunning coast as well,” Martin said. “You’re going to meet lots of different people, smell different foods, hear different languages.”

Junior William Stone said he found new insight into possibilities after college and encouraged others to explore their options.

“This event has definitely given me a new perspective,” Stone said. “Before, I thought a gap year was just free time. I realize it’s a lot more than that now, and there’s more stuff you can do.”

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