Sherman High School students and their families were invited out to the annual SHS College Night Wednesday for a look at the different academic and career opportunities available after graduation.

The event was open to all students’ families in the district but was specifically tailored for students in grades 9-12. Those in attendance had the opportunity to stop by 65 different booths, where they learn about public universities and private colleges from across the country, as well as military branches and various employers.

“We hope the parents and families to get more information on the process of applying for college and careers,” Sherman Independent School District Coordinator of Post-secondary Readiness and Career and Technology Education Katie Morris said. “A lot of these families don’t realize that there are so many resources out there that can be used to get their kids into college, trade school, the military. And for the students, we’re hoping that they see how many options there are and what’s out there.”

Morris said life after high school can be daunting for students and their families, but she explained that developing postsecondary plans early on can go a long way toward making the process easier. Morris recommended students outline their goals with the help of both school counselors and their families and identify four or five good options, whether they be jobs or schools.

“It’s really about figuring out what these kids want to do with their future,” Morris said. “We’re aiming to get them matched a with a school, program or employer that sets them on a path to success and gives them a purpose in life.”

University of Texas at Austin Admissions Adviser Julissa Cardenas said all schools are different when it comes to the qualities they look for in future students, but there are some key areas of interest to admissions offices.

“A lot of schools, ours included, will suggest that students really focus on their resume,” Cardenas said. “That will tell us what a student is interested in and how they have prepared for their major. But we also tell students to focus on personal achievements and academic achievements. That really gives us some better insight to an applicant.”

SHS freshman Kourtney Brown was one of the younger students to attend College Night and did so with her mother, Kim. Kourtney said she wanted to get a head start on her search for a school that was well established and had a strong criminal justice program.

“When it comes time to go to college I want to know where I’m looking and just to be prepared,” she said.

Kim Brown, said she spent ten years in the military and never got a college degree, and that was all the more reason to help her daughter earn one. The senior Brown said she felt a good education after high school would, as so many parents hope, help her steer her child toward a promising future.

“Knowledge is necessary and its power,” Kim Brown said.” It’s something that no one can ever take from you. It will give you the chance to be successful and open up so many different opportunities.