Annual presentation from Gap Year agencies cancelled

Hae-Lin Cho and Noa Braun

Students will not have an opportunity to attend the annual Palo Alto High School presentation featuring multiple gap year agencies this February, according to college adviser Alice Erber.

Although Leap Now, City Year, National Outdoor Leadership Program, Student Conservation Association and the Council on International Educational Exchange have been visiting Palo Alto High School since 2008, Paly will not be hosting these five gap year agencies this year. Four of the five agencies are listed as “registered to participate in the majority of our [usa gap year fairs] fairs across the country.”

Paly has decided not to host their annual Gap Year presentation due to the close proximity national gap year fair, one of which will be hosted March 2 at Los Altos High School featuring two graduates who took gap years. Erber added that there are many more agencies available at the national Gap Year Fair than at the Paly presentation.

“We decided not to do it this year because there is a national Gap Year Fair traveling around the country,” Erber said. “They usually have their fair around the same time [as the Paly presentation].”

Previously, the five agencies would introduce themselves and explain the concept of a gap year to students. The event continued with a question and answer session.

Paly and Gunn students had around 40 to 50 participants annually, according to Erber, but the attendance dropped last year.

Students, however, will retain other opportunities to learn more about the implications of a gap year. Erber specified that students could attend the Gap Year Fair or simply visit the College and Career Center to obtain information about gap years.

“We [the College and Career Center] have files filled with information about gap years,” Erber said. “We also have my handouts that I’ve created with a list of agencies. We also have books in the college center.”

Other ways students can find out more about Gap Years include talking with career adviser Christina Owen or looking up online programs, Erber explained.

Either way, Erber said it is important for students to consider researching options.

“I think it’s great to have an opportunity to meet the representatives of the agencies,” Erber wrote. “They can give information about the program and also give references of students who’ve gone on them. That’s a great help for students when they’re deciding.”

Editor’s Note: the date of the national gap year fair was corrects from May 2 to March 2.