Planning for Life After High School: Tips from the Illinois 60 by 25 Network Student Advisory Council

When asked where they get information to help them make decisions about what they want to do after high school, the majority of Illinois 60 by 25 Network SAC members noted that they get information from teachers and counselors. 

To broaden the resources that students can use to plan for life after high school, Network Organizers introduced students to the  ISAC Student Portal and the Illinois Postsecondary Profiles. While many of the students were not familiar with these resources, almost all of them said they were likely or very likely to use and share the tools with other students after learning about them. Students also indicated that the platforms are easy to navigate. “I think these are both really useful resources to help us in preparing for life or finding a school or institution in the future,” said Irais Montoya, a sophomore at Wheeling High School.

Network Organizers challenged the students to come up with creative ways to share the tools with peers at their schools and SAC members rose to the challenge! Take a look:  

Anusha Nadkarni
Bloomington H.S.
Class of 2023

Ashley Smith
John Hersey H.S.
Class of 2022

Irais Montoya
Wheeling H.S.
Class of 2023

Isabelle Escatel
Mendota H.S.
Class of 2023

Alex Medina
Mendota H.S.
Class of 2023

Alex and I are very thankful that we were able to work on this project together, but most importantly we were very excited to share these amazing resources with our school! When we realized that we were only required to share one resource, we had a difficult time choosing, so we decided it would be best to share all three of them. Alex and I settled on making posters to hang on the bulletin boards around our school and in the teacher’s classrooms. We first had to get this idea confirmed by our principal and she was kind enough to approve it! We then shared our plan with our counselors because they are definitely the main resource for college preparation within our school. They were delighted to learn about these useful websites and they encouraged our determination to share them with our peers. Alex and I then chose a day that worked for both of us to work on the posters. We didn’t have much room in our schedule to make hand-painted ones, so we created one on google drawings and mass-produced them. We chose to make a poster that would grab people’s attention as they are walking down the hallways, so we added vibrant colors and added QR codes to make it simpler! We finally created a poster that we were satisfied with, but we did run into a small problem. That being, we didn’t have a colored printer to use. Fortunately, our principal was so gracious by allowing us to use her personal printer and we are both very grateful for her help throughout the whole process! Once the posters were printed out, we stayed after school to hang them up and place them in the staff mailboxes. Alex and I were also planning on adding a notice to our daily announcements! First, we just need it approved by our principal and our announcer, but seeing how considerate they were with everything else, I don’t see this as being an issue. This was a very fun experience and we are so appreciative of everyone that helped us spread the word for our project! Hopefully, these resources will help others just as much as they helped us!

Joanna Renedo
North Chicago H.S.
Class of 2023

Karel Pene
Evanston H.S.
Class of 2022

Makaela Johnson
Lindblom Academy
Class of 2021

I shared the resource with the people I’m in the National Honor Society with, to the Google Classroom for teacher assistants at my school (I’m also a teacher’s assistant), and my senior seminar Google Classroom for peers who are still in the college process or who can share the resource with their younger siblings or family members. I also included the link to the Student Checklist.

Puranjay Gupta
Rockford Auburn High School
Class of 2022