Alternatives to college may be a better fit

While the traditional post-secondary plan is to go to a four year college right after High School, these 12 seniors choose to take an alternate path by taking a gap year. A gap year serves as a break between high school and higher education or work. Often, students will take gap years as a way to travel the world, gain new life skills, or prepare for college.

Cameron Colby

Cameron is going Costa Rica with a program called International Volunteer HeadQuarters to do sea turtle conservation, build hatcheries, tag baby turtles and release them, for both semesters.

“Marine life has always been an interest of mine so I want to explore it more before I decide what path I want to take in college.”

Molly Conover

Molly will be hiking Machu Pichu, volunteering and learning Spanish in rural communities in Peru and Bolivia for both semesters.

“I’m excited to take a break from school. I think the experience will help me mature, and I’ll get more out of college after taking time off.”

Nancy Hollingsworth

Nancy will be going to Costa Rica, Peru, Cuba and the Dominican Republic for the first semester, and then living in Spain with a host family for the second semester.

“I want to be able to learn outside of a classroom setting and a gap year is the perfect opportunity for that.”

Nick Ingraffia

Nick will be farming on an island off the coast of Ecuador, then sailing around the Caribbean on a 50 foot wooden spirit.

“I’m excited to learn about agricultural sustainability and work on my sailing skills.”

Noam Jacobs

Noam is going to live in a kibbutz in Israel for three months and will stay in an Israeli city for 6 months, focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I’m against this whole concept that if you’re not in school or pursuing a career then you’re inadequately prepared.”

Han-Ray Jahn

Han-Ray will take classes at SAIC and working at the Sheridan Shore Sailing School and then in the spring he is going camp cruising in a sailing canoe that he is building.

“I’m naming my boat ‘Fly-Away’ because building it has made me get outside where I can be happy.”

Kayla Lesch

Kayla is heading to Jerusalem and taking college courses for the first half of the year and then going to Tel Aviv to volunteer.

“I have decided to take a gap year because I have always wanted to spend some time in Israel and I am not sure yet what I want to study in college.”

Natalie Lovinger

Natalie is spending her fall semester in Isarel learning Hebrew and then volunteering in Palestinian and Bedouin schools in Israel.

“Everyone I’ve talked to said it was a really amazing experience for them, so I’m really excited!”

Maya Madjar

Maya is taking two years off to learn Spanish and German through international immersion.

“I want time to figure out my major, save money and then determine if I want to go to college internationally or in the US.”

Margo Muyres

Margo is heading to Kenya for the first semester doing improvement projects on schools and houses and learning about conservation. She will be spending the second semester in South and Central America learning Spanish and volunteering.

Jack Norman

Jack will be spending the seasons working at a ski resort in Colorado.

“I want to do something in Denver, but honestly anywhere in Colorado would be super awesome because it’s so damn beautiful over there.”