School hosts gap year fair

Casey Kim

Students and parents learned about different gap year programs and summer opportunities at the USA Gap Year Fair Feb. 22.

Director of Kutler Center and Summer Programs Jim Patterson oversaw the event and spoke about different specialized programs and fellowship opportunities that the Kutler Center provides and supports.

“There is a Brownstein Gap Year Fellowship that Harvard-Westlake gives out every year, as well a Service Year Fellowship, both for graduating seniors to support them in various gap year experiences,” Patterson said. “The Kutler Center supports the nature of independent, immersive experiences that are often very interdisciplinary.”

USA Gap Year Fairs has hosted this event in 43 different cities across the U.S. and Canada to connect students and families with various gap year programs, Director of USA Gap Year Fairs Alia Pialtos said.

“[Gap years are] a really great way for young people to get a taste of what it’s like to pursue their careers,” Pialtos said.

Students who attended were able to explore their different options after the end of their high school years.

“College doesn’t have to be immediate,” Sophie Lopez ’19 said. “I feel like there’s kind of a stigma about gap years, but I think it’s actually interesting and a good way to expand your character.”