Penns Valley

On Centre | Penns Valley: Recent grads visit to offer advice to freshmen

High school graduates took time before heading back to college to address the freshman class at Penns Valley Area High School about the importance of their academic careers. Clarissa Keller, Lauren Eberly, Angelo Nicosia and Cameron Tobias shared stories about the importance of working hard in school.
High school graduates took time before heading back to college to address the freshman class at Penns Valley Area High School about the importance of their academic careers. Clarissa Keller, Lauren Eberly, Angelo Nicosia and Cameron Tobias shared stories about the importance of working hard in school. Photo provided

What you do in high school matters.

That was the message Cameron Tobias had for the Penns Valley Area High School freshman class on Monday.

Tobias, 18, a Penns Valley Class of 2014 graduate, was one of four former students who addressed freshmen during a seminar last week.

“I basically wanted to let them know to get serious now,” Tobias said.

“This is not junior high, and everything you do from here on out matters. What you do goes on record, and just make the best of it.”

Tobias, of Centre Hall, attends Lock Haven University where he’s studying sports administration and is a quarterback on the football team.

During Christmas break, high school counselor Bill Bock contacted Tobias and other Penns Valley graduates to participate in the forum.

Clarissa Keller, who attends Penn State-Altoona; Lauren Eberly, who attends Case Western Reserve; and Angelo Nicosia, who goes to Shippensburg University, all participated.

“This kind of programming is important for kids, especially kids who have the chance to be the first person in their families to go to college,” Assistant Principal Laura Tobias, said in a statement.

“Knowing what to expect and knowing what they need to do while they are at Penns Valley will go a long way to preparing them for the next step.”

Keller said the most effective way to study is to start early and break down sections of information into smaller chunks instead of “cramming” the night before. “Manage your time wisely,” she said. “Write down your assignments and stay organized. A lot of success at college is determined by your ability to get work done, attend class and spend your time on priorities.”

Eberly agreed.

“You don’t have to do it all by yourself,” she said.

“There are always people to help, but you have to be the one to ask.”

Nicosia suggested getting involved in extracurricular activities as a way to meet people and build connections.

District spokesman Nate Althouse said half the ninth-graders met with the former students while the other half met with members of the Youth Service Bureau to learn SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive — goals.

“I think it got a good response because they got this background from kids not much older than them and from those who went through the system,” Althouse said.

“They learned the importance of education that helped them realize this stuff really matters, and heard it from the grads instead of a teacher or parent that they may have tuned out to.”

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