EVART – After being hired earlier in this summer, Evart High School’s new counselor went to work helping seniors achieve their post-secondary education goals.
Kendra Prudhomme-Smith hit the ground running just a week after being hired at the high school with applying for the Michigan College Acceptance Network Grant.
“I was hired one Friday and then by the next Friday, we were working on getting the grant,” said Prudhomme-Smith.
Evart High School’s Principal Jessica Kolenda had nothing but praise to give to the new counselor and her efforts to better the school.
“She is just an absolute rock star,” she commented.
The MCAN Grant provides schools with money to participate in events throughout the year that are designed to increase efforts in getting seniors to apply for, go to, and persist in their college careers.
The school was already doing a lot of what the grant requires, said Prudhomme-Smith, but they just needed a little help.
“There are programs you have to promise to participate in, two of which the high school was already doing,” she said. “The school has to follow through with participating in College Month in October, the College Cash Campaign and decision day.”
Evart High School was already participating in College Month and the College Cash Campaign which is designed to get more students to sign up for FASFA.
“Part of what drew me to Evart was the work Jessica (Kolenda) was already doing for the kids,” continued Prudhomme-Smith. “I just wanted to be able to do what was already being done on a larger scale.”
In order to get the MCAN Grant, schools must not only promise to participate in the aforementioned events but also explain how they are going to use the $5,000 awarded to them.
“We want to be able to do more college tours, get more kids applying for FASFA and make a nice space for them to come and work on their college applications and other forms,” explained Prudhomme-Smith.
Though the school has ideas of what they want to do with the money, they want to be able to spread what gets done across students for many years to come.
“The goal is to not just help this year’s seniors,” said Prudhomme-Smith. “We want to be able to reuse materials and start programs that will be beneficial to many senior classes to come.