Counselor’s Corner

CHS counselors Brian and Williams Kelly Maveal reflect on the expectations of high school students and how the future is changing for young people.


As high school students look into the future — college decisions, internships and life changes — CHS counselors Brian Williams and Kelly Maveal urge students to consider the future happening in front of them: the here and now.

CHS students are encouraged to go out into the world before they graduate; resources such as the Community Resource Department, a program allowing students to create their own classes and take college courses, allow students to interact with the local community before getting their diploma. This unique opportunity gives students the chance to expand their horizons and understand their interests and options before leaving the safety of high school.

“I think the future can start right now by being engaged with your local world and your community,” Williams said. “Be it through some of the coursework here and Community Resources or volunteering or working, [students are] seeing what the real world is actually like. [They are] not waiting for the future to happen because it’s already happening.”

Ann Arbor is full of resources for students to discover their passions before pursuing a secondary education. The University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University all provide students with options for internships, classes and learning opportunities.

The uncertainty of the pandemic and the past few years gave students and teachers a pause to reflect. Many staff and students used this breath to take a closer look at how success should be defined and the expectations of how the future should look.

Gap years have continued to gain popularity, as have paid internships and volunteer opportunities. While a four year college experience is still the norm, other paths have become more mainstream.

“For years there’s been a scripted path that [students are] supposed to take,” Williams said. “I think that over the last few years it’s broken down and exposed that that’s not necessarily the case. These days, I’m a little bit more excited for high school aged people.”