High school students commit to two UP universities

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) — It may have been a rough road for some, but on Friday, 21 students celebrated the start of a bright future.

“I’m excited to meet new people and make new friends,” said high school student Jayden Harvey.

It was future day at Marquette Alternative High School. Four seniors signed their letters of intent at Bay College and 17 at Northern Michigan University.

“We kind of got the idea from the high school athletes when they signed their national letter of intent to go to college,” said Erin Lavalley, a teacher at Marquette Alternative High School.

This group did not have the average high school experience.

“Before this year, they had actually only spent a full year in school. It was their first year,” Lavalley said. “So they overcame a lot of adversity to get where they are.”

As if the pandemic wasn’t enough of a challenge, the children also had to deal with the stigma that comes with going to an alternative school.

“People know that alternative schools offer smoking breaks or are for troublemakers or those who fight,” Lavalley said. “That’s not what alternative schools are anymore.”

These college-bound students prove there’s more to an alternative school than meets the eye.

“It’s meeting them where they should be expected to learn, to be educated.”

That’s what makes this day even more rewarding for students like Cole McCormick.

“Getting accepted to Northern Michigan was nice, especially for me,” McCormick said. “I felt like I was progressing in life.”

Other career services were also present to ensure that students have the best start for their future. Students will begin this upcoming fall semester.

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