The For-Sure Plan in an Un-Sure Time

We sat down with Jeralyn Mire, Sandpoint High School’s dynamic and passionate post-secondary counselor. Her role is pivotal in helping graduating students choose their path forward. We feel especially proud because it was thanks to a grant made possible by our donors that her position was created. We thank our donors for helping to make this happen. It’s another example of how a contribution upstream makes a lasting change that ripples throughout our community for years to come.

Jeralyn Mire has always counseled her students to have three plans: The “Dream or Reach Plan,” A “Match Plan,” and a “For-Sure” plan.

A student interested in cosmetology would reach for Aveda Institute in Dallas because that’s the premier school. Her match might be the Paul Mitchell School in Bose, and the “for-sure” plan is to apply to the School of Cosmetology at North Idaho College.

Interested in becoming a diesel mechanic? That’s a great profession, and the reach option might WyoTech in Wyoming. The match would be Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston and good old North Idaho College for the “for-sure” plan.

She always encourages her students to think big and go for it. That’s the dream. If you shoot for the moon and land on the stars, that’s pretty good, too. That’s your match plan.

“But I always tell them, you should have a ‘for-sure’ plan just in case the world falls apart.”

Just in case the world falls apart.

It was a hypothetical scenario. Little did she know the unthinkable would happen, and the world would fall apart. But, most of her students were ready to pivot because they had followed her advice.

We asked Jeralyn what other trends she sees this year.

This is a good year for students to take a gap year to go out and experience things. She is in favor of the gap years as long as it serves a purpose. “My biggest fear is they take the year off, goof off during the time, get a girlfriend or a boyfriend, get a car loan, and find themselves unable to get back on track. A gap year should have a start and an end date, and a purpose.”

Typically, that purpose involves something adventurous like backpacking in Europe, but that’s not an option, so they are getting creative and finding something local or regional that keeps them safe while still providing an experience.

The more our future generation is exposed to new things and experiences, the better they can choose what they want to do.

“We don’t ask kids anymore ‘what do you want to do?’ We ask ‘What do you like?’ From there, we can suggest experiences and programs. So often, they have an interest in something and didn’t know there was a career in it.”

When we give them experience and exposure, we remove the pressure of having to decide what they want to do with their lives.

It’s hard to overcome the disappointment for these grads who missed out on the final months of their senior year like proms, picnics, awards, tournaments, and graduation, only to have to pivot to their “for sure” plans. And if they aren’t learning from home, they find themselves in a dorm room somewhere learning remotely.

A generation of youngsters will be overjoyed when the pandemic is part of history. Hopefully, it builds strength and resilience, so they can pivot up to their dream plan when the time comes.