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Mary Lyon Foundation Updates

Mary Lyon Foundation News

Mary Lyon Spearheads the Development of a College and Career Readiness Center at Mohawk Trail Regional Schools  

The Foundation is delighted to confirm that we recently received $30,000 in grant funding from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation, which will be used to establish a Career and College Counseling Center in the high school library. 

The Center will empower middle-and high-school students from across the district to learn about, access, and pursue career and educational opportunities. The school’s guidance counselors and community volunteers will staff the center. The school is deeply committed to helping students step confidently into their next phase of life after graduation. 

Research has shown that students learn best—and inspire and motivate each other—when they can benefit from the energy of interacting with their peers and across grade levels. The creation of the Career and College Counseling Center will provide numerous opportunities for our students to interact in small and large group settings. The Center’s design will alleviate the roadblocks to college visits and job fairs due to lack of funding because the Center will provide students with the ability to participate virtually in these activities. 

The Center will be located in the library at the Mohawk Trail Regional High School in Buckland, which will maximize its visibility, centrality, and access – providing a professional and creative environment for our students as they begin post-secondary preparations for a career or college. We’re thrilled to share that the Center will: 

  • Benefit nearly three hundred 7th-12th graders each year. 
  • Engage students with the college and career readiness curriculum. 
  • Allow students to utilize databases and online resources to research educational opportunities, scholarships, internships, vocational programs, and professional openings. 
  • Enable students to learn and practice skills needed to prepare resumes, complete applications, and conduct virtual interviews. 
  • Provide students with a private space to meet with college recruiters, employers, outside career organizations, and guest speakers, either in person or virtually. 

In addition, the school recently invested in an essential educational resource for the Center called “Xello.” Xello is a college and career-focused software program that allows students from Grades seven to twelve to document and update their trajectory of planning, knowledge, skills, and experience as they advance through school. Doing so provides them with a framework to assess their evolving interests and explore potential pathways post-graduation. 

Sara Neuenschwander, College and Career Counselor will manage the Center’s operation and staff.  She will work with Taffy Ruggeri, Counselor for Grades seven through eight. Chris Buckland, the Principal at the high school, will oversee the entire operation and the guidance team. 

We know anecdotally that Mohawk Trail Regional School students are hungry for information and guidance about opportunities available to them after graduation. Success will be demonstrated by the number of students taking advantage of the resources provided by the Center.   The Center will be fully operational and available to students in the fall of 2022. 

Over the next four years, the Foundation’s goal is to increase the number of students who graduate with actionable plans to attend college, undertake an internship, engage in a job training program, or enter the workforce. We’re thrilled to see our vision for the Center become a reality, and we feel confident that the Center and its resources will prepare students to forge a successful future in the area of their choosing. Their future success will help fuel a vibrant, successful community for decades to come.