Transitions are scary, exciting, full of new opportunity, and fraught with uncertainty. The transition from high school to post-secondary career and college is one of the biggest we face. It’s why many young people with resources take a gap year to explore and grow.

Viviana (right) with her Step Year classmate, Brandon (left)

At WMCAT, our take on a gap year is Step Year, our innovative approach to helping young adults explore post-secondary opportunities while diving deep into their personal agency and leadership. It’s meaningful work you are advancing through your support of WMCAT.

For Viviana Farfán, a current Step Year student, the first years after high school were hard and unfulfilling. She quickly realized that the low-wage jobs she was working after high school were leading to burnout.

“I’m a first generation student and it’s not as easy as my parents thought it would be for me to get a 4-year degree,” shared Viviana. “I financially support my family and the weight of debt from a degree is something I wouldn’t be able to carry. So I went to work after high school.”

After job burnout started settling in, Viviana arrived at WMCAT for Step Year. She is rediscovering her passions and interests, while exploring career and educational pathways that can lead to income security.

“I didn’t realize when I came into the program that I would be invigorated to pursue other goals as well,” she said, referring to the breadth and depth of WMCAT’s Step Year curriculum.

WMCAT staff, Brandy Arnold (far left) and Leanne Rhoads (far right) help celebrate the completion of the 2018-19 program with Step Year students: Viviana (second from left), Brandon (third from left), Lydia (fourth from left), George (fifth from left), Yeshua (not pictured), and Aliyah (not pictured).

Viviana is currently applying for internships in fields where she is passionate such as illustration and design. She is meeting potential employers and mentors, while exploring options.

Together we can make this transition a journey with meaning and purpose.

Curious to know more about Step Year? Check out Step Year’s website and their latest video here.