“Overlake is like a big trampoline to send these kids out in the world,” says Kate Asgari, Director of College Counseling.
This week the class of 2023 celebrated College Signing Day. Seniors and the adults who have supported them, gathered on the Whitten Math & Sciences patio for ice cream on a gorgeous afternoon, donning swag from their chosen college. The air was alive with excitement about the future, relief of being done with the college search journey, and support of their peers. The event is a chance to savor the culmination of their year and high school journeys as they look to their future.
“It’s truly amazing to see the growth these students have had throughout the year,” observes Regina Quiban, College Counseling Assistant. She recalls the journey that it took for the students to get to this moment of celebration. Watching them work hard, stress out, and persevere through challenging seasons punctuates the maturity each student has gained. “It’s always cool to see the arc of their growth,” Quiban says.
But the college counseling team is quick to point out that this is a journey that started four years ago. While at Overlake, students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and try new things and get to know what they like and what they excel at. Once students reach their junior year, the college counseling team simply helps guide students to find where they can continue to develop those interests and skills, not change who they are to fit the perceived mold of a particular college.
“At the heart of this process is the individual,” says Chris Kuipers, Associate Director of College Counseling. “High school life is not this process with college as the end goal, college is just a next step in their own personal development.”
The college counseling team loves taking great care to help each student find their right next step as they leave Overlake. But they also love celebrating with students along the way. Celebratory cow bells and cheers can often be heard throughout campus as the team celebrates big and little wins with students throughout the year. “I hope the students look around and take in this moment and enjoy that exhale and revel in the moment,” Asgari says.
During this week’s event, as students celebrated their college decisions and proudly sported the names of their future destinations on their shirts, Asgari shared her thoughts as she looked around.
“As college counselors we look at this event and think, ‘hey you colleges, you are so lucky to have these human beings who are about to leave Overlake and enter your world and transform it’,” Asgari says. “We know what extraordinary humans are going to these places. That to me is the bigger marker of success. Not the brand they’re wearing but the person that will be going to that place.”
To see a list of schools where students were admitted and enrolled, click here.
To see more stats on enrollment characteristics, click here.