Annual gap year fair attracts 70 students

Ellis Becker

Harvard-Westlake hosted a gap year fair Feb. 23 in the Kutler Center, with members of the junior class invited for the first time. The school was one of two sites in Los Angeles to host the fair for students considering a gap year through Dynamy Internship Year, a Massachusetts-based organization for gap year opportunities.

“I think there are lots of advantages to taking a gap year,” Director of Kutler Center and Summer Programs Jim Patterson said. “It can give students opportunities to learn things about themselves and learn things about the world around them. Some of these things just can’t be taught in a traditional classroom.”

In past years, seniors have been the main target audience for gap years, but this year, it was extended to juniors. Approximately 70 students and parents from the Los Angeles area attended.

“This was a different time of year than when we’ve usually hosted the event, and if we continue to host it in February, I think we’re going to focus on making sure everyone realizes it’s this time of year, instead of in January,” Patterson said.

Representatives from 41 different gap year providers were at the fair to present opportunities to students in attendance.

“I thought the gap year fair was really great for kids who are even just considering taking a year off before college,” Jessica Dickman ’17 said. “It presented a lot of opportunities and options in lots of different countries that I can definitely see myself going to.”