A Guide Through College Craziness: Ms. Lara

Ms. Lara is one of the busiest women in the Career Center. She is responsible for helping students with everything college and career related. She spends a lot of her time assisting students with college applications, financial aid applications, and scholarship applications. Ms. Lara also hosts many events throughout the school year which include: college and military representative visits, application workshops and drop-in appointments for career research, career inventory tests, job search/applications and resume building. She works closely with Allan Hancock College, including their concurrent enrollment and “college now!” programs–which allows Ms. Lara to inform high school students on how they can get a head start earning college credits while in high school. 

Ms. Lara has been working at Lompoc High School since March of 2019, she started in the Textbook room, worked “out of class” in attendance for a couple of months, then started working in the Career Center. Since, Ms. Lara has been the permanent Career Center Technician since March 2020. 

She says the most important step in being a successful college student is being informed about the steps needed to start college and the expectations. She works closely with students, builds relationships with them, and makes sure to follow-up with them as needed to ensure that they are meeting all requirements prior to graduation. It can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating figuring out all the steps (finding a major, securing financial aid, completing scholarship applications, essay prompts, etc.). She is here to assist students and walk them through everything! Asking questions, learning about resources available, communication, and being available is key for success. 

Her favorite memory is, hands down, seeing our senior classes graduate each year! She has seen two senior classes graduate since working at Lompoc High School, and it’s a very exciting and emotional day every time. She loves seeing how accomplished and happy students are on graduation day. Ms. Lara takes pride in working so closely with our seniors, so it is an honor to assist our students determine their post-secondary plans; whether it is a career pathway or academic pathway. 

Some words of advice from Ms. Lara are, “I would highly recommend showing up, making the best out of each day, staying involved and having an idea of what it is that you are passionate about. If you are not sure what you want to do after high school, stop by the career center and we can help you determine some interest! Stay involved, find a hobby, stay focused and always respect others. Be nice and try to remain positive–positivity brings great energy and will get you a long way! Stay busy and try to learn something new every chance you get. But most importantly have fun with everything you do!”