Today is the first day of senior year for my son. I’m so excited for what this school year holds for him: a computing systems class, helping one teacher by community mentoring Algebra, and helping a second teacher by making photocopies/classroom assistance, plus a college probability and statistics class and a government/economics class. He’s got early dismissal to continue his paid job working part time at a local computer store.
At this time he doesn’t plan on going to college, but has a thick IT training manual he’s reading and plans to take the certification test. He also has good job and volunteer references from various paid and unpaid computer and tech places. As an honor student he’s got colleges offering him partial academic scholarships, but he doesn’t want to start his work life with college debt – he wants to make money, and when he has money he can decide if and when it would be advantageous to gain more education.
My son is flying in the face of societal norms.
He’s got a clear idea of what he wants and how he plans on reaching his goals. He wants to be a software engineer, and he’s got buddies he’s been creating computer games with for several years. He’s taken classes for fun in C++ programming, taken online computer badge courses, volunteered at Free Geek, has built computers from scratch, and taken business and marketing classes. He’d like to someday start his own company and sell downloads of his games. But he knows that to get where he wants to be, he needs to work hard and learn programming, learn coding, mentor at businesses, be helpful, be open, and enjoy the life he has while creating the life he wants.
My son is unique. He is smart. He is wise. He is kind. It’s amazing watching his mind work to sort things out with his thoughtful, practical demeanor. He’s like a combination tech guy/philosopher.