Academy’s Focus 11 prepares juniors for college

Academy%27s+Focus+11+prepares+juniors+for+college

Gini Barreda

Juniors get ready for an exciting and informative day.

Elaine Petrarca and Sarah Elliott, Junior Section Editors

With the end of the school year approaching, the junior class has begun the stressful journey of applying to college.  To alleviate some stress, Academy guidance counselors put together a fun and informative day integrated with Focus 11  on Wednesday, February 28.

Usually, Focus 11 is a diocesan movement to inspire vocational callings in young men and women. The concentration is generally on religious life. However, a few years ago, the diocese cut back on the program, and it is now only for 11-year-old students in the 6th grade. Sister Mary Patricia Plumb decided that Academy should still have a focus day for the oftentimes over-burdened juniors. Therefore, Academy’s unique Focus 11 became a new tradition to begin preparations for the senior year.

After opening the day with a prayer service, the Guidance Department introduced a panel consisting of four college admissions counselors:  John Sullivan from Eckerd College, Bonni Carni from the University of Tampa, Benet Bondi from the University of Alabama, and Erin Keller from Mercer University.  Juniors had the chance to ask questions and listen to advice from the panel.  Many questions were about class selection for senior year, admissions essays, and interviews. The counselors gave detailed answers that helped reassure many anxious juniors.

After lunch, seniors Alex Diaz, Alex Viso, Amanda Schifino, Tori Litschgi, Meagan Gonzalez, Sophia Gonzalez, Marisa Infante, Grace Spurgin, and Sophia Miranda shared their college application experiences with the juniors. Their advice ranged from how to deal with disappointment to how to figure out what school fits you best.

Senior Tori Litschgi really looked forward to this day. “When I was a junior, I really benefitted from hearing about the experiences of the seniors. I learned a lot of information about the application process that really came in handy during my senior year. I was very excited to get to help this year’s juniors and share my own experiences.  I hope that I helped reassure them and answer some of their questions.”

Mrs. Darcy Dwyer, Junior Class college counselor, believes that the day was a success and the juniors are now more prepared for next year.  “I thought the day went very well. My hope is that the day gave the juniors some new perspectives and helped them take a breath.”