Hudson Valley Parent

HVP November 2019

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n November 2019 on good grades from day one." For now, Digilio's son is focusing on adjusting to high school and his academic workload, especially that of honor-level classes. Next year he'll concentrate on college assess- ment tests, at first, the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), and when he's a junior, the Scholas- tic Aptitude Test (SAT). "No matter what he chooses as a major or career or what job he wants to apply for, having a college diploma puts you that much further ahead of someone else who doesn't have one," said Digilio. As he moves into his sophomore and junior years, Digilio said it'll be important for her son to carefully think about colleges that interest By KAREN MASERJIAN SHAN A s a school guidance counselor at Kingston High School in Kingston, Michelle Drewn- owski knew how to prepare her son, a 2019 freshman studying engineer- ing at the University of Delaware, for college. But that didn't mean it wasn't stressful. "It's a tough process," Drewnows- ki said, and not easy to do on your own, including narrowing the teen's interests, taking college assessment tests, focusing on potential schools and filling out college applications. But preparing teens for college helps set them up for success at school, a bonus for what comes next: entering the job market and working toward a satisfying career. "I don't' think it's ever too early to start thinking about college," said Drewnowski. "I encourage our students to take as many electives as they can to get an idea of what's out there-our biggest trick is to help kids figure out what they want to do." College prep starts in high school Alex Digilio of Kingston is help- ing her son, Andrew Digilio, a 9th grader at Kingston High School, prepare for college by ensuring that he does well throughout his high school years. "There isn't one year or quarter, per se, that's going to change things for college," she said. "He needs to work hard all four years, all eight semesters, because everything comes into play. He needs to focus him and what he wants to study. They'll also attend the high school's college night for information on potential schools and visit his top choices during and after his junior years. The idea is to narrow his options, including costs involved and available financial aid, so they won't be starting from square one when final decisions need to be made. "College kinds of gets him ready for that living on your own; not relying on Mom and Dad as much for things," said Digilio. "Yes, fi- nancial support, but not day-to-day living. College is a good part of that transition of being a child to being an adult." Is your teen ready for college? Parents of college kids share insights on preparing high schoolers for their next step Sarah Shuttleworth completed advanced and college-level courses during high school, allow- ing her to enter Dutchess Community College as a sophmore.

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