Restoring Lives and Thomas Consulting offering summer boot camp for high school students

Plamedie Ifasso
The Daily Ardmoreite

Restoring Lives is partnering with Thomas Consulting to host the NEXT Step summer boot camp to help high school students prepare for life after high school.

The course is open to all high school students and will meet twice a week, Monday and Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Restoring Lives for six weeks for a total of 12 sessions. The sessions are free, and students only have to pay $25 for the workbook. Interested students can sign up online. 

Shenita Jones, CEO of Restoring Lives, said the courses will focus on college and career readiness, helping students figure out what they want to do after high school and how to achieve those goals. Jones said she will be focusing on the social and emotional aspects of preparing for life after high school and teaching students how to recognize self sabotage and prevent it. 

“One of the things that have become very prevalent coming out of the pandemic, that was there before, is that our kids don’t have the social skills or emotional skills to be able to regulate themselves or to be functioning when they leave and go off to college,” Jones said. “If they have a financial aid issue, but they’re too scared to go down to financial aid to have a conversation. And so they come back home.” 

Terri Thomas with Thomas Consulting will focus on the academic and higher education side of the course. Thomas has a bachelor degree in business with a concentration in management. She has worked in higher education for about 15 years, working mostly with for profit organizations. 

“I’ve helped thousands of people earn their degrees at undergraduate level and graduate level,” Thomas said. “I really understand how to have the conversations, and I really understand the inner workings of admission and enrollment.” 

Thomas said her goal for the boot camp is to create awareness and give the students the knowledge to find their own resources.

“For me, I think what I want them to learn is that they can create their own destiny,” Thomas said. “They don’t have to base the rest of their lives on what they see around them because there is a way out.”  

Jones said she hopes that students come out of the course with a strong understanding of themselves emotionally and socially and be able to turn around some of the self sabotage they may be doing. 

“We want you to understand that coming out of a historically oppressed community that you can still thrive, but there are some things and processes that you have to go through,” Jones said. “These are the opportunities for you to have those tools to be able to help you get there. I think a lot of the times we are challenged in life because we don’t have the preparation and tools to be able to get there.”