Maple Ridge Secondary counsellor Andrew Kowal wants Grade 12 students at his school to realize they'll wake up to real life on July 1, 2013.
And one way to simulate real life is to put them in front of people from the community who will question them on their life so far and ask them about their future plans.
Sort of like a job interview. "[It's a] great opportunity... to sell themselves to someone they've never met," Kowal said.
As part of their graduation transition program, all 270 graduating students at Maple Ridge Secondary take part in rigorous presentations and inter-views with educators and community members where they have to present what they have done so far in their young lives.
All students in the province have to put together a grad transitions package, but how it's done varies from school to school. But Kowal said he feels the way MRSS has set it up requires a lot of effort from the students as they prepare to go out into the real world.
Students can decide how to present themselves, either on a laptop, with a display, or by showing examples of their work.
"It's a real mixed bag how the presentations are done," Kowal said.
Half of the 2013 graduating class presented themselves last week on Wednesday morning, and the other half will do the same in April.
The interviewers included a variety of people from Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin and superintendent of schools Jan Unwin to high school counsellors and teachers, firefighters, tradespeople, and business people.
Many students are involved in myriad activities outside of school, be it at church, volunteering, or in sports.
"They can talk about the whole picture - this is who I am," Kowal said.
At Tuesday's Maple Ridge council meeting, Daykin talked about the grad transition interviews he did, and he said the students were "lucky" to get the opportunity to practise interviews. When he graduation, Daykin said, "we just got thrown to the wolves."
He was impressed that several students said they were going into the trades. One students was an "incredible artist," but he realized that "art wasn't going to put food on the table."