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It doesnt end with high school
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High school might have seemed like the time of our lives. Looking back it was a lot easier than many of us thought it was at the time.

And at one time high school was the considered an acceptable end to your education career. Now technology and globalization has made it nearly impossible to finish high school and learn a trade on the job. Many of those trades either dont exist or have moved to another country where the labor can be done for less money.

In our generation you have to be prepared to be a life long learner if you expect to keep up. Which is why we think it is great that the state, and our local high school, is working to encourage students to continue their education.

Tuesday was Apply To College Day at Dawson County High School. Part of a statewide program - this is Dawsons first year participating - that helps students find colleges, apply to them and even help them figure out how to fund their education.

Prior to participating, the students prepared by completing preparatory assignments such as creating their GAcollege411 profile, researching colleges and completing a practice application. This allowed students to make the most of the assistance they received during the event and successfully submit at least one college admission application at that time.

Students take time out of their day and work directly with teachers, counselors, parents and community volunteers to find the school for them. Representatives from Lanier Technical College, Gainesville State College, Valdosta State University and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College were on-hand to answer questions from students.

This gives us time with the students that we dont normally have, said Cherie Ferguson, counselor at the high school, this is an overwhelming process - especially to those whom are first generation college applicants.

The program also tries to encourage students to apply who would be first generation college students. This is an important part of our progress as a country.

If we expect to compete globally the next generation has to be prepared for what comes next. We know that college isnt right for every one, but education is and will continue to be a necessary part of a career or even a job.

Government has continued to decrease funding for education and it is coming at the worst time. How can the children of today solve the problems of tomorrow if we are unwilling to pay for their education.

Programs like Apply To College day are a step in the right direction. We need to continue to encourage young people to learn new things all the time. We didnt get where we are by settling and thats something that we all need to remember.

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