If you’re entering your senior year of high school, you likely already have a list of to-dos to mark off before you walk across the stage and onward to your future. And although your parents, mentors and teachers are trying their best to prepare you for this major step in your educational journey, it can be difficult to know how to spend this critical time wisely.
Whether you’ve always had a higher education plan or if you’re just starting to think about what comes next, Virginia’s Community Colleges are here to help make the process easier – and more affordable – with G3.
Offered at all 23 of Virginia’s Community Colleges, G3 covers tuition and fees for individuals living in Virginia who qualify for state financial aid with a household income that’s less than $100,000. G3 serves as an important tool to address the skills gap in high-demand careers while helping businesses find skilled talent sourced right from their communities. Put simply, G3 can help you pay for school and train for the right career, right where you are, right now.
Here are three ways to get ahead and prepare for the G3 track as a high school senior.
Whatever your passion is, G3 has a place for you to put it to use. That’s why it’s essential for you to get curious and start exploring different niches to see what gets you most excited about the future. Even if you know what you’d like to study after high school, it can never hurt to think outside of the box – you never know what new interests you may discover.
The state of the economy can be daunting, and for many students, their number one priority is to make a steady income to provide for themselves and their families. And although finances come first for most, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you do at the same time. Between the five high-demand industries that G3 supports across Virginia, there is bound to be a place for your unique skill set.
G3 is focused on healthcare, IT, public safety, early childhood education and skilled trades, manufacturing and construction. Each program is tailored to each community based on the local job market demands. That means that after you graduate from your chosen community college, your odds of transitioning directly into a career are high. The key is to have an open mind. The rest will fall into place.
Cultivating a meaningful network of professionals who are in the industry that interests you is important. Luckily, the process of getting to know industry experts is less daunting when the businesses you’d like to work for one day are hoping to work with you too. That’s what makes the G3 business ambassador program so special.
G3 Ambassadors are businesses that support the dozens of practical, technical trainings offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges. Ambassadors help colleges achieve the goal of elevating the profile of high-demand skills and career opportunities. In return, they will work with their local community college to build a talented workforce that will help fill their hiring pipeline.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, I’m not a college student yet — how can I get involved? The answer to that is easy: put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a business ambassador in your area ahead of starting classes to learn about potential internships, volunteer opportunities and other resources.
Interested in what the business ambassadors are all about and the opportunities available to you once you enroll? Take a look at episode four of Inside Virginia’s Community Colleges – the VCCS podcast that is currently in its third season – to learn more.
Talk to Your Counselor
Another great tool to utilize is your very own high school counselor. Although G3 is made to be as easy as possible for you to continue your education, there are a few things to keep in mind and steps to take to set yourself up for success and it’s always good to have help. Your counselor can help answer questions about your G3 eligibility, support you as you move through financial aid and most importantly, remind you to take deep breaths.
As you work your way towards graduation, make sure to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. It took dedication and a lot of hard work for you to reach your senior year — let us help you with the rest.
To learn more about G3, visit www.virginiag3.com.