Life after graduation

Christine June
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

About 70 high school seniors learned there was more to life after graduation than a change of address at the second U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern senior transition fair March 15 at Kaiserslautern American High School.

“They gave out some important information that’s going to help me in the next four years,� said Bianca Gerena, 18, a KAHS senior who will attend college next year. “I now know what I have to do in the future to be successful.�

Themed, “Out and About in the Real World,� the fair showcased 12 stations arming students with information ranging from how to file a TRICARE claim to finding a stateside church.

“These are people who are making the first major transition of their lives, and they’ve got some major thinking to do,� said Gale Stewart, USAGK education services specialist, who explained possible educational benefits and opportunities. “So, I’m in the business of getting them to start thinking about themselves − what they want or don’t want in their lives.�

***image1***High school students asked for a transition fair at the garrison’s 2004 Army Family Action Plan Conference, an Army-wide program that gives all members of the Army team a chance to voice concerns and raise issues to Army leadership.

Last year, it became a reality under the leadership of the garrison’s school liaison officer and Adolescent Substance Abuse Counseling Services counselors along with support from KAHS and community officials.

It was determined that the best time to get a lot of information to seniors at once was during the week of the TerraNova (standardized testing), said Lynn Rice, the USAGK school liaison officer, who was again co-hosting the transition fair.

Mrs. Rice said the fair has been such a success for seniors that there has been talk between the sponsors to possibly expand it for other grades in the future.