The Center for Gifted Education welcomed 175 middle and high school students, parents and counselors to the annual Focusing on the Future Conference on Saturday, February 1, 2020. Focusing on the Future is a career and academic planning experience with the twofold goal of exposing high-ability learners to career opportunities in arts, humanities and sciences and informing parents and counselors of considerations and guidelines for effective career and academic planning.
Separate concurrent sessions in over 30 fields such as Engineering, Communications, Politics, Computer Science, and Forensics, were offered for middle and high school students. Students took part in interactive discussions and activities about career opportunities in a particular field and were exposed to information about work habits and “habits of mind” that lead to successful careers and steps to take in preparation for specific careers. Parents and counselors attended delved into topics ranging from practical information, such as SAT or ACT information sessions, to characteristics of the social and emotional development of gifted students. All sessions were facilitated by William & Mary faculty or staff, or other professionals in the field. The busy day ended with a campus tour for students and their families.
The Focusing on the Future conference created a comfort zone for students in terms of going to college and being prepared for their future.