High school is filled with experiences. Studies, extracurriculars, community service, internships, and then, the telltale question on everyone’s mind.
Now what am I going to do with my life?
While some might have it all figured out early on, others are still left with uncertainty. But guess what? That’s okay! It takes time, trial and error, and lots of practice to actually discover a path that will be the right fit.
At VLACS, our mission is to provide students with valuable, career-related experiences so that they finish high school feeling prepared to determine their next moves, whether that be to earn a degree, travel, obtain a certification, or pursue a career. Every move they make brings them one step closer to achieving their goals no matter how big or small they may be.
Take it from our alumni! They know a thing or two about what it’s like to graduate and take on the real world. The bottom line, everyone’s journey is different!
What exactly are VLACS alumni up to? We caught up with former VLACS students and asked them about the next moves in their lives. Check out what they’ve been doing since graduation and their advice to future grads!
Joey Planchet ’18
Joey Planchet graduated with a plan to study political science and play on the D3 rugby team at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. At least that is what he thought he wanted to do. As a result of a head injury from a skiing accident back in high school, he struggled to maintain the focus necessary to perform athletically and academically at the collegiate level. He made the decision to leave Franciscan, take a year-long break, and recover from his brain injury.
During his break, Planchet underwent a lot of physical therapy, which to his surprise, really piqued his interest in the human brain. So, he switched majors twice before finally discovering neuropsychology which appealed to his interest in both biology and psychology. He would have never thought that getting hit in the head would actually lead him to what he wanted to pursue in his life, but it did! He will be attending UNH Manchester to study neuropsychology and then plans to attend graduate school.
Never, ever stop learning. The more you learn, the better you get at life.
Lee Brown ’19
Lee Brown knew throughout high school that he wanted to attend college and obtain a degree in computer science. So after he graduated, he went to Manchester Community College, where he completed an Associate of Science degree and got his first job. In the fall of 2021, Brown started at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester to pursue a B.A. in computer science.
During his time at VLACS, Brown enrolled in dual credit courses, so that he could save money on his first year of college while also gaining experience to prepare for a college-level workload. This is a route many students take as a cost-effective way to get some general courses out of the way and even lessen the workload during their first year in college. It’s hard work that definitely pays off!
“Time management is extremely important, especially in college. I say that not because I have mastered it, but because I have struggled with it myself.”
Annie Wohlgemuth ’15
Annie Wohlegmuth was a student at VLACS for three years, where she says she rediscovered the joy in learning. VLACS provided her with the flexibility to create a schedule that encouraged academics as well as her passion for horses.
She was not only able to focus on her education, but also spend time with her horses and achieve her goals as an equestrian.
After high school, Wohlgemuth earned a bachelor’s degree in health science fromFranklin Pierce University in 2019, earned an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2020, and became a registered nurse in a hospital cardiac care unit in 2021. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in public health and will be graduating in the spring of 2023.
Wohlgemuth attributes her time at VLACS to her desire to pursue higher education.
“Take time early on to study and understand concepts, don’t wait until the deadline is approaching.”
Kaylee Sevastis ’21
Following graduation,, Kaylee Sevastis spent the summer working full-time at Market Basket while pursuing her short-term goal of obtaining her private pilot license. She hopes to work for a small regional airline or be involved in recreational flying with skydives and tours while also teaching and sharing aviation with others.
But determining this path didn’t happen overnight.
Reflecting on her high school years, Sevastis said she would have never thought that designing an aircraft and flight plan as part of a task she was assigned during a collaboration, would eventually become her future aspiration. In fact, she had no prior interest in planes at all. With an open mind, she dabbled with a few different careers that appealed to her, yet one thing was certain – “I knew I didn’t want a desk job.”
It wasn’t until a friend recommended the field to her that she’d decide to take a discovery flight in a Cessna 172 and “never looked back.” From that day on, she has taken the steps towards pursuing a career in aviation, a path that fuels her need for adrenaline, while also stimulating her intellectually.
“Future graduates, making big decisions about your life/career at 17 or 18 years old can be very overwhelming, but just know that you don’t need to know what the rest of your life will look like. I encourage you to try things out if you are like myself and have no idea what you want to do. College is something that is highly encouraged, and I agree, but I didn’t feel that college was for me right now. If you feel the same, I highly encourage you to continue your education in some form, always keep learning and improving yourself.”
Katharine Storo ’16
Katharine Storo began her journey at VLACS in middle school and later graduated with us in 2016. While in high school, she planned to attend college for biochemistry to pursue a career in the field of STEM. At the time, she wasn’t sure if she was interested in medical school, physical therapy school, or traditional laboratory science, so she attended High Point University in North Carolina to explore these options even further. During her time at HPU she participated in research, working on projects in the biomechanics and chemistry departments. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in biochemistry and a minor in psychology.
Storo is currently in her second year at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine where she is exploring the possibility of a career path in orthopedic surgery while keeping an open mind to other specialties in the field.
“Work hard and be kind.”
Margaux Whiting ’17
Margaux Whiting attended VLACS for a year to pursue her education and help her prepare for college. After graduation she studied internationally to obtain her bachelor’s degree online. Her college experience began at the University of Burgundy where she studied French Literature for two years, before transferring to the University of Lorraine where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English.
Whiting is currently working towards a double master’s degree online. One degree she will earn in English studies at the Sheffield University in England. The second degree in English Education leading to licensure at the Western Governors University in the United States.
“If you can do it go for it, VLACS will only help you”
It’s true – we can definitely help you.
Students come to VLACS for several different reasons. Some students come to us to explore a niche subject like Bitcoin, Interior Design, Web Development, or Chinese, which might not be available to them locally. Some students take courses with us in areas that they need a little extra support in so they can work at their own pace. Other students come to us to learn through a hands-on experience like a job shadow or a micro-internship which provides them with an opportunity to interact with professionals and explore careers.
One thing that all VLACS students have in common is that they come to us with a goal and we personalize their experience to ensure that they leave having accomplished what they wanted to.
How will you experience VLACS? Start by browsing our learning catalog which includes over 400 courses! If you need some help deciding, feel free to give us a call at 603-778-2500 or email us at [email protected] and our advisors can guide you. Or you can attend an open house and get a live virtual tour of our online program. Then when you are ready to get started, create an account and enroll at any time! It’s that simple.