By Raven Lawson
Throughout the course of the school year, students are constantly bombarded with messages from their schools regarding homework, projects, and upcoming school events. Not a day goes by where students do not check their school websites and other educational resources for information about current and upcoming assignments. But once school lets out for the summer, what keeps those students engaging with the website?
For high school seniors such as myself, having access to updated scholarship information year round is a necessity. With worries concerning the rising costs of postsecondary education, it is essential for good school websites to contain a section dedicated to helping its students fund their future education. These sections should not only provide information about the scholarships offered by organizations within the school, but they should also contain links to the plethora of scholarship websites that exist. Along with this information, should come tips and tricks for how to go about applying for scholarships and navigating those scholarship websites. Keeping up to date scholarship information on your school’s website would allow students to have constant access to monetary resources, as well as keeping them engaged with the website even if school is not in session.
Internship and job opportunities
For many, summer vacation is the time to relax and do nothing all day, but for most high school students, that is not really an option. We are constantly being told at school the importance of obtaining summer internships or summer jobs, but rarely do they speak about the harsh reality that is the job market. High school students are not necessarily at the top of the list for companies when it comes to hiring employees, so navigating the internship and employment processes on our own is not an easy task. Good school websites could keep their students engaged over the summer by offering current high school internship and employment opportunities. Access to this information would ease some of the stress that many students feel while searching for activities over the summer, and also provide them with opportunities to optimize their summer vacations.
Community service and volunteering
While access to summer jobs and internships is important, knowledge concerning community service and volunteer opportunities is of equal importance. Community service hours are required by some schools, so obviously having information about volunteer opportunities would be essential for those students. But there are many students, myself included, who are just looking for ways to contribute to their communities, and with the summertime offering students so much free time, constant updates about community service opportunities would provide them with various ways to get up and give back. Unfortunately for many students, they are not aware of the amount of community service possibilities, so good school websites should act as a bridge that connects students to the multitude of volunteer opportunities that exist.
Fun summer activities
Summer vacation can not just be all work and no play, so I believe good school websites should also include a section where their students can access information about fun upcoming summer events. Whether the school is directly involved with the event or not, providing this information would make more students want to engage with the school website because enjoyable summer opportunities are being offered to them. Not only would information concerning fun summer activities attract more students, but it would also attract parents who may be looking for exciting family recreation. Including information about fun summer activities would lead to an overall increase in website engagement because such information is not specific to a certain demographic, so various people could benefit from that knowledge, whether they are directly linked to the school or not.
School year highlights
Another resource that would keep students engaged with their school’s website over the summer is access to information about some of the major events that occurred throughout the school year. Events such as sports competitions, school dances, and graduation are generally very important high school occasions that students would like to remember. Instead of limiting the memorabilia of these events to the school’s yearbook (which not all students purchase), they should be available on the school website at least until the new school year begins in the fall. Online access to pictures and testimonials about these important school events would allow students to share those experiences with their family and friends even after the school year is over.
My name is Raven Lawson, and I am a seventeen year old high school senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES). I am a writer and designer for my school’s Yearbook and I am one of the Presidents of our Black Student Union. Through my school’s college counselor I learned about a summer internship opportunity. I applied in early February, and had the fortune of being selected as one of eighty-seven interns. I then joined the team here at Edlio as a marketing intern. After highschool, I plan to pursue a career in journalism or communications, and I am looking forward to utilizing the skills I learn at Edlio in the future.