Where Do YIHS Graduates Go?

Youth Initiative High School graduates are doing remarkable things all over the world. Some run businesses in the Driftless Region; some are teachers, architects, and web designers; some are environmental scientists and social activists and human rights lawyers; some have started their own families.

Most YIHS graduates attend college. Our graduates have been accepted to colleges and universities throughout the United States and overseas, and have shown themselves to be pro-active, creative, and exemplary students in a range of postgraduate settings.

How Do They Get There?

Personalized Academic Counseling

Youth Initiative High School’s academic counseling program begins before a student’s first day of high school and lasts until that student’s first day of college. Our academic counseling program isn’t just a series of meetings to make sure a student is on track. Academic counseling, directed by YIHS alumnus Jacob Hundt, is integrated into the very fabric of education at Youth Initiative High School.

The journey begins in grade 9, when students take a semester-long class introducing them to high school life. They hone basic academic skills such as essay writing, note-taking, and time management, learn about our school’s unique governance structure and other features, have the opportunity to address the many concerns and questions that come from being a new student in a very busy school.

Another important facet of academic counseling at YIHS is the Care Group. The Care Group is an individualized student support group comprised of the student, the student’s parents, and a peer and adult mentor selected by the student. This group is called together to plan the academic course of a student in the middle of the 9th and the beginning of the 12th grade. The Care Group is also convened if a student wishes to embark on a grand undertaking such as a foreign exchange, or if the student is struggling academically or socially. The Care Group process is meant to support and encourage the students at YIHS to make the most of their education.

In the 11th and 12th grade Jacob works with students on an individual basis to make sense of the college application process. Time is set aside to focus on the application essay, financial aid and scholarship applications, and selecting a school that is right for the student.

Academic counseling at YIHS not only aims to land students at the college of their choice but to ensure that students have the academic and social maturity to succeed beyond high school.

College Tours

One of the most enjoyable parts of the college preparation process at Youth Initiative High School are the college tours taken in the 11th and 12th grade.

Each year the junior class embarks on a week-long trip around the upper Midwest, visiting an eclectic sampling of post-secondary institutions. Touring institutions as varied as the large and diverse University of Wisconsin-Madison; small, private, Cornell College in Iowa; and the more specialized American Academy of Art in Chicago allow students to get a feel for the multitude of options they have after high school. Many students point to the college tour as making the prospect of college real to them and helping clarify their thoughts about what they might like to do after high school.  Seniors, with the help of the college counselor, create an individualized college tour.

Post-Secondary Counseling For Students

Another element of individual support offered to our students is individualized post secondary counseling. The diversity of post-secondary options can be overwhelming for students and their families. Luckily, at YIHS students and parents are guided through the gauntlet of higher learning by our very own Program Director, Jacob Hundt. Jacob has years of experience, and several personal relationships with admissions counselors at a wide range of institutions.

The results: Our students are accepted to an impressive array of post-secondary programs. Students embark on two college tours across the Midwest, have the opportunity for standardized test prep, and even have a whole class designated to the college application process in their senior year. We’re serious about launching our students into the next phase of their lives, and our alumni succeed in a variety of environments. A prerequisite of our goal to educate the whole human being is to truly understand the student as a human being—to know a student’s potential and challenges, fears and dreams. At Youth Initiative High School our relationships are human relationships. Students quickly become part of an extended family and their teachers come to know them on a personal basis. It is within this relationship, one of mentorship, trust, and respect, that learning can truly begin. At Youth Initiative High School we have built unique and successful strategies to ensure each student has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.

No matter where else I go in the world I know there’s a place where I can feel comfortable being myself and I know people accept me for who I am. I feel like everyone should have a place like that.

Emily C.

YIHS Graduate