Special: College and Career Center Information Sessions

Aumena Choudhry, Staff Writer

Mrs.Kropf discusses summer opportunities with students and shows the resources on Family Connection.


In order for students to learn more about summer programs and opportunities, college and career center director Eileen Kropf is hosting information sessions during eighth periods this spring for students to learn more about summer programs and career options.

To meet the needs of Jefferson students, the College and Career Center has expanded its resources and begun to digitize information about scholarships and other opportunities.

“Before we had Family Connection, the online college exploration tool, there was much less use of online resources,” Kropf said. “There were teams of parent volunteers in the College and Career Center who would work on a database to create a TJ scholarship list that was printed out on paper. Now, we use a list that FCPS posts on Family Connection. We no longer hand out a paper scholarship list and, instead, we point students to Family Connection. We’ve gone from paper to online.”

Kropf continues to work with parent volunteers who come in each week to update the list of summer and enrichment opportunities available to TJ students. She posts this list on Family Connection, in the Document Library.

“I have a team of parent volunteers and I couldn’t do this without them,” Kropf said. “These parents research and update a list of enrichment opportunities that are relevant to TJ students interests, including research internships, leadership programs, and career exploration programs.”

The eighth period sessions are based on this list and are designed to help students find resources to advance their career goals, which can range from being an actor to being a neurologist.

“I want the info sessions to provide resources to help students find their path to college”, Kropf said. “What that means is helping them explore their passions, what they’re interested in, summer opportunities, and other programs and from that they can decide what college they want to go to and what career they would like to pursue.”

Many students have benefitted from these resources.

“With internships, Mrs.Kropf did provide immensely helpful advising. I think it’s nice to know that there is someone easily available at the school who can help you find the experiences or opportunities you’re looking for and help you figure out which fits you best,” sophomore Sonika Vuyyuru said.  “Also there are a lot of great resources within the CCC that are very helpful, like the big binders from all the upperclassmen and TJ alumni.”


The College and Career Center will also start hosting info sessions with TJ Alums who have had interesting careers. On March 16, a TJ grad who was involved in drama at Jefferson and is now designing a Disney theme park, came and spoke to students.

“I want to have more programs like [the Disney speaker] and actually show students that the path from high school to college to career isn’t always straight,” Kropf said.  “There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of turns and that’s normal.”

Although she feels that there is a lot of stress for the students to get into good colleges and enter the right profession, Kropf feels that students should explore their interests and offers advice to students on how to do this.

“Know who you are and stick to that. Take your passions and apply them because the world needs lots of different professions as our economy is always changing. Instead of entering a profession because you feel it is inevitable, or that’s where the jobs are now, Kropf urges students to explore their own passions and, in this way, give your best gifts back to the world in your chosen career.”