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New beginnings as students prepare for graduation

For high school seniors, to graduate means experiencing the excitement of endless opportunities and the nervousness of needing to choose from those endless opportunities. Camranh Le-Jurica walks with high schoolers as they begin to think ahead towards the different journeys they may take. Although making post-high school decisions can be challenging, Camranh’s goal is to provide them with multifaceted information so they can have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves. 

Camranh works closely with high school students as the college & career readiness specialist at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Salt Lake City. Each student has unique aspirations and strengths. What may benefit one student may not benefit another. Camranh’s job then is to expose them to several possibilities and give them the tools they need to be prepared. 

Camranh reflects that growing up in the United States, she just assumed she would go to college. It didn’t seem like an option. She wants her students to know that they have the autonomy to decide what will best suit their future goals. She enjoys imparting knowledge to high school students, letting them know what to expect from attending university and what she wishes “somebody would have told her,” she says. “College isn’t for everybody,” she tells students. “But it can open doors.”

Edith, a high school student graduating this year, has decided to attend college. “For me, to be a senior is something that makes me feel nervous and excited at the same time because it's my last year in high school and now I must think about college and where I want to study,” she shares. “And I'm excited because I am achieving it.”

Edith is passionate about attending a university. She decided to go because she wants “to be the first person in [her] family who will go to college and one day, [she] wants to support [her] sister if she wants to go.” She’s making the most of the time she has with her family before beginning her career, shopping with them and eating dinner together. Before she begins attending college, she also wants to strengthen her biliteracy and join after school classes, including basketball. 

While she’s in college, Edith hopes to learn a third language and start her studies to become a “professional in some branch of the economy,” she says. Edith explains that the opportunities provided by the country is helping her dreams of education become a reality, but so is all of her hard academic work. “Both things are making it possible,” Edith shares.

“They all have so much potential,” Camranh shares about the students. “There are different ways to play to different strengths,” she adds, saying it’s a matter of “elevating what they have.” Between skills and aspirations, these students have a lot.

Refugee and immigrant students bring tons of talent and rigor to their studies! You can support their success by volunteering as an online tutor as they study for classes and prepare for their post-graduation plans. Learn more this and other volunteer activities by visiting Rescue.org/VolunteerSLC.