Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…” Dr. Seuss’ lyrical words from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” ring true in the hearts and minds of many young adults as they finish high school and embark upon their long-awaited and highly anticipated futures.
So, where will they go? With the brains in their heads and feet in their shoes, graduates walk into their futures, each on a unique path, and all with the assuredness that comes from a firm foundation of love, faith and hope established during their time at Palmer Home for Children.
For some graduates, attending a two-year community college is the next step after graduation from high school. Some move out of their cottages and into college dorms or apartments on the Palmer Home campus. Others move into campus housing at four-year universities, choose to join the military, or take part in vocational training through internships at the local community college. New living arrangements are often a big adjustment for Palmer Home graduates, but they don’t have to make the transition alone; houseparents check in with graduates on a regular basis. Some choose to live together during college and remain a strong community of support for each other into adulthood.
Graduates are welcome to continue utilizing the rich resources found on the Palmer Home campuses. If a graduate finds herself struggling in a subject, or simply wants to master a subject with more ease, she is able to receive help from a tutor at Palmer Home. If a graduate is struggling with emotional and mental stress, he is able to receive counseling from the gifted and available counselors on campus. Having car troubles? Houseparents are more than happy to roll up their sleeves and help with mechanical issues – or any issues at all, for that matter. Need help balancing a budget or creating a successful approach to meal planning and grocery shopping? Houseparents jump at the chance to spend time encouraging the young adult and reminding them of the life skills learned while living at Palmer Home. The bonds formed within the walls of the cottages on the Palmer Home campuses are strong and withstand the test of distance and time.
As graduates venture out into the world, new opportunities and questions arise. Palmer Home provides job interview training that coaches them about what to expect in an interview and how to shine in the situation. Mock interviews can be arranged and assistance with resumes and cover letters is always available.
When winter and summer break roll around, Palmer Home opens its arms to graduates. While some choose to remain in their new settings, others return to the comfort of their previous cottages and life with their former houseparents and siblings. The cottages swell with additional people and amplified sounds as do the hearts of the reunited families. Other graduates join their sponsor families for holidays, vacations and breaks; many sponsor families are invested in their Palmer Home children for a lifetime and remain actively involved in their lives.
The paths awaiting Palmer Home graduates are varied, some will stay nearby and some will travel far away. For all, the future is bright and the opportunities are endless. In the words of the beloved and acclaimed children’s author, “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So…get on your way!” And in the words of Isaiah, speaking of the acclaimed and adored Author of Life, “Whether you turn to the right or left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”