Everest Collegiate High School seniors have developed a tradition of creating a map or poster announcing their college decisions as they are made. In the program for the Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises, students names are listed with the scholarships offered to them by colleges, and their college declarations noted. The process of preparing for college, building their high school resume through clubs, tests, extracurriculars, service, leadership, etc., is a task that requires commitment and dedication. Honoring the hard work that has gone into their preparation for their future is a large part of graduation. “Commencement” indicates the beginning of a new chapter for which they have prepared themselves over the course of years. In the ten years of its existence, seven graduating classes of Everest Collegiate High School have added 168 institutions to the list of colleges and universities to which EC graduates have been accepted. These institutions include prestigious names and, even, Ivy League schools.

However, in the wake of this week’s news about the college admissions scandal in our country, students could be disheartened and frustrated. As they invest time and effort in their college admissions process, to learn of scandal on the part of parents, coaches, and institutions may leave them feeling like they don’t have a chance. Students have expressed indignation for the athletes who potentially lost their spots on a roster to non-athletes. Everest Collegiate guidance counselor, Mrs. Christina Krogh, encouraged fellow faculty and staff members to be aware of the facts about the scandal, and also to help students focus on their long-term goals.

While Everest Collegiate High School prepares its students for their post-secondary studies with ardor, providing a demanding academic curriculum and extensive extracurricular opportunities,. EC students are prepared above all to be leaders in society, to make a difference in their chosen fields of study and their future careers. While supporting each student in his or her pursuit of  dreams both for school of choice and future plans, Everest ultimately strives to help its students realize they have unique potential and responsibility to transform society. Krogh said to her colleagues, “What we know — and what our students may not understand until later in life — is that college admissions don’t matter, not in the value of who they are or what they can hope to achieve. I talk to them a lot about the importance of finding a school that’s the right “fit” for them, and recognizing that it’s less about where you go and more about the effort you put in while you’re there. But really the ultimate message is that a life lived in communion with the Holy Spirit, and a life focused on maintaining a relationship with our savior *is* the route to fulfillment and the definition of success. Those of us who sought our vocations through seemingly no-name undergraduate institutions can attest to that with great joy. And this is a message we should share with our students with passion and courage.”