Students at Mound School in the Slavic Village
neighborhood paired with Matt Vana, manager of accounts
payable for Medical Mutual, and Kathy Capretta, customer
insights analyst for the health insurer. Classmates happily kept
busy playing a board game relevant to the discussions: Life.
Many of the students had focused on school sports programs as a
major factor in their selections, Vana said. He urged them to
think of sports as more of an extra.
Vana said the one-on-ones gave some typically quiet students a
chance to open up. He said the exchanges, with students quiet or
otherwise, were revealing.
“All of them are engaged; they do have an idea of the avenues
they want to go into,” said Vana, adding that he had heard talk
of engineering, finance, marketing, arts and communication.
“They are putting forth the effort to start thinking about
In previous months, students assessed their strengths. A boy
named Kenyon said his reflection had uncovered career
possibilities ranging from accountant to school counselor to
“I don’t know yet what I’m going to be,” said Kenyon, who is
interested in attending Cleveland Early College High School
at the John Hay Campus. “But I’m going to do what I’m good
has his eye on Rhodes School of Environmental Studies,
because of the thematic focus, and one of CMSD’s two Bard
High School Early Colleges, because he could simultaneously
earn a high school diploma and an associate of arts
degree—tuition free—from Bard College of New York.
Like Nick, Trinity is considering Bard but she also wants
to explore Jane Addams Business Careers Center and the
Cleveland School of the Arts. She credited her True2U
mentors will helping her to winnow the field.
“At first, I didn’t know what high school I wanted to go to,”
she said. “They showed me schools that were in my categories.”
As a portfolio district, CMSD has created a variety of high
school models so students can find the ones that will help them
reach their goals. Students can attend any high school they wish
if space is available and, in a few cases, they meet admissions
Students and families can register online at choosecmsd.org.
The portal is open until March 22 but signing up early improves
a student’s chances of getting his or her first choice.
All of the more than 30 District high schools will have a chance
to the market their programs from Jan. 23-25, when
eighth-graders take turns making daytime visits to the East
Professional Center, 1349 E. 79th St.
Families can browse the school options from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on
Wednesday, Jan. 23 at East Professional Center and from
5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Max S. Hayes High
School, 2211 W. 65th St.
launched in 2016, is a partnership between CMSD, MyCom,
the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, the Greater
Cleveland Partnership, and the Greater Cleveland
Faith-Based Initiative. For more information, go to true2umentor.org.