Board Member Says “We Need This Program!”

Pendleton High School, Pendleton, Oregon - Silver Medal

In February 2012, when Pendleton High School Board Member Debbie McBee attended an introductory workshop featuring the Career Choices series, she was so impressed that she insisted the program be implemented as soon as possible.

The timing could not have been better given the regional efforts of the Eastern Promise initiative housed at Eastern Oregon University. Eastern Promise has two overarching goals: To build a college/post-secondary going culture, and to increase access to affordable early college credit.

With direction and enthusiastic support from Principal Dan Greenough, Nicole Stewart was selected to champion a freshman program. As the effort evolved, Sonia Cooley joined the team to shepherd a follow-up course for juniors.

“[Career Choices] was such an easy program to implement and is such a positive program,” according to Stewart. “The students are more knowledgeable about the wide variety of training programs that are available to them.”

Stewart maintains a blog that fully describes the program, and she even sends out weekly emails to parents so they can remain involved and be positive reinforcements in the home regarding their student’s goals and aspirations.

Pendleton High School seniors had more scholarship offers this year than in the past two years combined. “The Career Choices curriculum fits perfectly with Eastern Promise and makes it a complete wraparound program,” said Stewart.

A great example of this is Delaney, a 2016 graduate who was awarded an additional $12,000 in scholarship funds when she applied early at Eastern Oregon University. Her Career Choices teacher and track coach, Nicole Stewart, attributed that directly to her attention of her 10-year Plan and staying true to her goals.