Students pursue passions after high school graduation

Erez Ben-Akiva

Once the four eventful years of high school are completed, there are certainly many things a graduating senior can pursue. At Brookline High, most continue their education at a 4-year university, but many decide to take a different path.

According to Senior Ione Madsen-Hardy, she knew she wanted to take a gap year in early November of her senior year.

“It was kind of after the election. I just thought I need to do something about this, and

there’s only so much you can do. But, it’s a great time in life to take a year and do something for other people or just do something different,” Madsen-Hardy said.

Madsen-Hardy will be working with the Literacy Lab, a program for tutoring low-income students in reading. After one year working with the program in Baltimore, Maryland, Madsen-Hardy will study at Boston University.

Senior Zohar Preminger decided in December to take a gap year, working with City Year in Washington, D.C.

“I guess I just want to do something a little more real world before retreating back into the bubble of college. I think it’s really sheltered. To go from Brookline, which is one sheltered community, to college, which is another sheltered community, I wanted to break that and get a little real world exposure,” Preminger said.

Preminger said she put a deposit down for a school following her gap year, but will be reapplying to other schools, aiming to study abroad.

According to Preminger, she is excited to work in a city as diverse as Washington, D.C in order to increase her exposure to different people.

“I’m really looking forward to making connections with people that don’t come from the same background as me. I am looking forward to learning about their experiences because I think that provides a lot of insight and helps with life and everything,” Preminger said.

Following graduation, senior Evan Legere will be pursuing work as a recording engineer, which requires “on-the-job” experience rather than pursuing a higher education.

“It’s like a job where there’s no real job. You do it all day, but you’re not hired by anyone. It’s like freelance. It’s just a learn by experience kind of thing. That’s how the whole music industry is. It’s all connections and networking and who you know,” Legere said.

According to Legere, he has always been interested in music, but did not get involved in recording until freshman year.

“I never even realized it was something that happened. I thought people just recorded songs and they were done. But, there’s a whole other side to just that step of the process,” Legere said.

Madsen-Hardy and Legere both said they received encouragement from their parents on their post-graduation paths.

According to Madsen-Hardy, her eventual goal is to feel like she has made an impact.

“When I talked to someone who’s doing the program, she said that the best part of it is being able to see the change in the kids with the few months that you’re working with them. If I could make school and reading a little bit more fun for a few kids, I would accomplish what I want to do,” Madsen-Hardy said.

Legere said he is excited to pursue his passion.

“I’m definitely excited about being able to work on this thing that I like a lot more than anything else. But, I’m definitely nervous about the fact that it’s not like a guaranteed thing. Especially being a freelancer, even if I am doing well with it, all of a sudden it could just be no one’s booking you,” Legere said.

Madsen-Hardy said she felt relieved when she finally made her decision to do a gap year, as she was not excited about going to college.

“I think a lot of people can relate to just the burned-out feeling. I felt so thankful that I had this opportunity that worked out really well and was so in line with my goals. It was just a weight lifted off my shoulders completely,” Madsen Hardy said.

Preminger said she feels both excited and nervous about her upcoming experience.

“At this point, I’m just really really excited. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m kind of pumped. I love the city, so it’s going to be fun,” Preminger said. “I’m excited and nervous, but mostly I’m waiting to find out what’s going to happen next.”