Program challenges high school seniors to pursue additional education after graduation

COVINGTON, Ky. – Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today joined local officials, educators and the business community to launch a state program challenging Covington-Holmes High School seniors to pursue additional education after they graduate.

The “Close the Deal” initiative, launched by the Lt. Governor when he was Mayor of Louisville, 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 Covington-Holmes 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 Covington-Holmes students will be first generation college-goers.

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 Covington-Holmes 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.

“We are very fortunate and thankful to have been selected to participate in this program,” said Covington Independent School District Superintendent Alvin L. Garrison. “Close the Deal brings about more college awareness and it will serve as a catalyst for providing many of our students with a path after graduating from Holmes. Close the Deal offers our students exposure to a variety of higher learning institutions. Through this process we are sure that they will find one that meets their post-secondary interests and needs.”

“Holmes High School is honored to be selected for this year’s Close the Deal initiative,” said Covington-Holmes High School Principal Dennis Maines. “Our goal is to ensure all seniors have a post-secondary plan to continue their education. We are excited to have the support from the Lt. Governor, Commissioner of Education and many others to help our students answer questions and receive the assistance they need to take the next step.”

“I recognize the correlation between education and being a productive member of our community and I encourage students at Holmes High School to further their education, whether it is vocational training or through a college degree,” said Kenton County Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus.

“Close the Deal is proving to be a positive change maker for students across Kentucky, especially students who thought postsecondary education, including college, was out of their reach,” said Covington Mayor Sherry Carran. “Lt. Gov. Abramson’s Close the Deal initiative is a very special opportunity for our Holmes High School seniors.”

“We are pleased to be participating in this program,” said Steve Stevens, executive director Kenton County Chamber of Commerce. “We believe this initiative is vitally important because increasing the number of students who pursue a post-secondary education is critical to our local employers in this region. Higher levels of education and training are no longer optional. They are a necessity in order to land the jobs that are available in Northern Kentucky and to keep our region competitive.”

Officials at Covington-Holmes 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 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.”

Additional 2013 Close the Deal events include:

  • Gallatin County High School – Wednesday, Oct. 16;
  • Greenup County High School – Tuesday, Oct. 29; and
  • 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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