Graduation is just seven weeks away and many graduating seniors at Columbia High School are making plans for their futures.
Some will go off to four-year colleges and universities, some will serve in the United States military, some will attend community colleges and trade schools, some will travel the world, and others will enter the workforce.
In this series, The Enterprise has interviewed several seniors about their post high school plans, giving the community a look at the fine young men and women who have been educated and raised in White Salmon.
In this first article, The Enterprise interviewed two members of the CHS class of 2019, Carolyn LaBerge and Yazmin Nunez, who are following the traditional path of attending a four-year college/-university.
Where will you be going to school and what do you plan to study?
LaBerge: I will be going to the University of Washington in Seattle and majoring in Biology.
LaBerge applied to four other schools, including Seattle University.
Nunez: I will be going to Western Washington University in Bellingham and majoring in Environmental Science as well as participating in the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, which will allow me to build my own secondary major.
The Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies follows a similar education model as The Evergreen State College in Olympia. Fairhaven College is distinguished by seminar-style courses, narrative evaluations instead of traditional letter grades, close advising relationships with faculty, opportunities for independent and international study and student-designed interdisciplinary degrees.
Nunez applied to only Western and is the first in her family to go to college.
Why did you choose these schools?
LaBerge: Going to UW and graduating from there opens up a lot of opportunities and that was a big draw for me, and it’s one of the best schools in the country for Biology. I was also drawn to the location. I’ve always wanted to live in Seattle. It’s a beautiful city. Also, my parents went there. I was raised with purple and gold.
Nunez: I chose Western, because it is one of the top three schools for Environmental Science. I also just fell in love with the campus and the location when I got to tour there. I felt very at home.
What are you excited about and what are you nervous about with regard to going off to college?
LaBerge: I am excited to expand my atmosphere and meet new people, participate in college campus life and to be in a place that is different from what I have known. The last part also makes me a bit nervous; I know the UW campus is huge and that the classes will be larger than I am used to as well.
Nunez: I am excited to experience something new, but also nervous about leaving home and leaving my family for a long time.
Do you think you will return to White Salmon when you graduate from college?
LaBerge: I will definitely come back to visit, but I don’t know if I would live here again. It’s not something I see for myself.
Nunez: I agree with Carolyn, I will come back to visit because my family is here, but I don’t know that I would come back here to live. It’s kind of hard to think that far ahead.