Program challenges high school seniors to pursue additional education after graduation

GREENUP, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today announced the launch of “Close the Deal” at Greenup County High School.

Local officials, educators and the business community rolled out the state program that challenges Greenup County High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.

The “Close the Deal” initiative creates a college-going culture in selective high schools for students who aren’t yet considering higher education. The statewide program, in its second year, supports high school counselors, and engages the business and postsecondary communities in helping these students attain further education past high school.

“If Kentucky is to compete for 21 century jobs, we must have a highly trained, skilled, educated workforce, and Close the Deal plays a critical role in achieving this goal,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said. “Expanding Close the Deal at Greenup County High School will definitely benefit the senior class, helping them know their options after earning their diplomas.”

Lt. Gov. Abramson said like him, many of Greenup County students will be first generation college-goers.

Close the Deal was created in Louisville when Lt. Gov. Abramson was mayor after he realized that “many talented students who would earn a high school diploma had no idea what to do next.”

At today’s Close Deal launch, seniors met with college representatives regarding how to apply for admission and financial aid, while local business leaders outlined the skills needed for current and future opportunities.

The successful launch of Close the Deal at Greenup County High School is due to the partnership between state and local officials, educators and business leaders who want seniors to pursue higher education, “whether through community college for a certificate or a two-year associate degree, or a traditional four-year university,” Lt. Gov. Abramson said.

“Greenup County High School is so proud to be a part of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson’s Close the Deal Program,” said Greenup County Superintendent Steve A. Hall. “Every Musketeer senior will benefit from participating in this unique opportunity. Raising the awareness of the many resources available for our seniors as they plan their next step of attending college, joining the workforce and/or entering into our nation’s military, Close the Deal brings all these resources to our high school for easy access for all students. Partnering with Bill Hannah of the Ashland Alliance, college recruiters and KHEAA, the day will be full of activities geared to enhance every child’s postsecondary dreams.”

“Greenup County High School is both honored and thrilled to be a part of the Lt. Governor’s Close the Deal Program,” said Greenup County High School Principal Jason Smith. “This unique opportunity gives our seniors a tremendous advantage in achieving college and/or career readiness and brings awareness to the vast resources available to them in reaching this goal. We are thrilled to have partnered with the Ashland Area Alliance, the many colleges, technical schools and universities, along with KHEAA, in giving our students a tremendous advantage in pursuing and achieving their postsecondary goals and having the opportunity to be successful in not just a job but a career.”

“I think this is a great opportunity for our seniors at Greenup County High School,” said Greenup County Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to hear from business and educational leaders from across the Commonwealth. I appreciate the Lt. Governor’s leadership in putting together the event and making our county a priority of his when it comes to education.”

“We are thrilled the Lt. Governor has chosen Greenup County High School to participate in his Close the Deal initiative,” said Greenup Mayor Lundie Meadows. “This will prove to be a special day and opportunity for the seniors of Greenup County High School and make a positive impact for our entire community.”

“It’s not only a pleasure for the Ashland Alliance and its members to be working with Greenup County High School on Lt. Gov. Abramson’s Close the Deal program, it’s our responsibility,” said Ashland Alliance President Bill Hannah. “Any time we have the opportunity to get directly involved in assisting students transition from high school to college we should do so. The mechanism set up by this Close the Deal program, placing senior students at nearly one-on-one meetings with college admissions people, financial aid people and business people, is very strong. It removes the stigmas associated with college being unattainable, too expensive and/or not for me. It is true that our children are our future. We need to invest in them, assist them, coach them, support them, whatever we can do, as we come alongside those teachers and counselors who’ve given their lives to educating our youth.”

Officials at Greenup County High School will continue to work with seniors throughout the school year, further educating them on the need for additional education upon graduation. Through Close the Deal, counselors will encourage students to apply to at least one college or university.

In taking Close the Deal statewide, Lt. Gov. Abramson formed a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education to add the program to the department’s “Operation Preparation” initiative.

Operation Preparation was launched in March and combines the efforts of the Department of Education and the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet to discuss life after high school with students.

“Close the Deal complements Operation Preparation’s mission, which is to encourage partnerships between communities and their schools to ensure that students are ready for college and careers,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “Close the Deal provides students with the information and tools they will need to explore higher education options, raising their comfort levels and knowledge as they prepare for life after high school.”

Lt. Gov. Abramson launched the program at Covington-Holmes Oct. 4 and Gallatin County High School Oct. 16. The last event will be at Logan County High School Friday, Nov. 1.

Campbell County High School, Lawrence County High School and Bullitt Central High School launched Close the Deal in 2012.

For more information about Close the Deal in Kentucky, visit www.ltgovernor.ky.gov.




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