Anders, a high school junior coach at West Seattle High School, poured a lot of energy into making that final decision for college. Despite the emotionally involved and tenuous process, Anders was excited. It was his turn to begin his college journey.
Growing up in the North Seattle area, Anders attended Ingraham High School where he prepared himself with “a high school domination plan.” This consisted of joining clubs and a plethora of action items to complete before graduation. Early on, Anders also experienced pressures to pursue a STEM major like many of his peers. Knowing that math was not his strongest suit, he decided to look into English and social sciences.
“One of my parents has a Master in English and a grandparent was a professor in creative writing, so I decided it would be a good idea to follow this pathway,” Anders said.
After many college applications, he decided to attend the University of Washington. When asked about his initial years at UW, he recalls, “I went in with an attitude of ‘everything that was not STEM,’ so I took some classes in several areas. Political science, pre-law, humanities…”
Anders was also active in the Undergraduate Theatre Society (UTS). He helped create an improv group that continued on even after he graduated in 2019. Using UTS as an anecdote, Anders recognized that if there weren’t opportunities ready to pursue, then he would do his best to create those opportunities.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in English, he initially had an interest in teaching. While applying to several positions for mostly independent private schools; however, Anders came across the College Possible AmeriCorps coach role.
What I liked about the AmeriCorps role is that there would be more of an impact,”
Anders explains when recalling his choice between private vs. public, hoping that he would come back to work in the Seattle Public School district eventually.
Even while serving during the COVID-19 pandemic, Anders was able to create connections with his students and make the impact he was hoping for. In one instance, he connected a prospective theatre student with a theatre major alumni so that the student could make a more informed decision.
“Being able to connect students to resources and experiences has been rewarding!”
When asked about his future plans, Anders is still working out what comes next, but now has a deeper interest in relationship building in the nonprofit sector. “What I have come away from this with is that I really like forward-facing positions that are often built on relationship building. This helped clarify for me that this work is important and valuable.”
What advice would Anders give to students currently pursuing their degree? “The most valuable experiences come from seeing what happens, getting out there and trying out things!”