RVH School Counseling Newsletter

November 2017


The Riverside School Counseling department is a team of 12 dedicated individuals working collaboratively to meet the needs of 1590 students, including teachers and parents. We have an open-door policy, but at times we are needed at meetings or have scheduled appointments with other students and parents. To serve you more efficiently, we ask that you please call or email us to schedule an appointment.

We support Riverside High School by:

  • working with staff to address obstacles that interfere with students’ learning and success.

  • focusing on skill development through a variety of ways, such as small group or individual counseling sessions, classroom guidance, and consultation and coordination with parents, administrators, and teachers.

  • helping when students experience challenges. We focus on conflict resolution, transitions, study skills, test-taking skills, crisis intervention, bullying prevention, suicide prevention, and special needs of students.

  • preparing students with post-grad planning. College visits, career days, internships, scholarships, and job matching are just a few resources available to help our students succeed in life after high school.

RVHS School Counseling Office Info

Hours: 8:00 am to 4:15 pm

Website: http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/domain/17735

Get connected with us on remind, text @7a0b5 to 81010

Follow us on twitter @RVHCounseling

Rob Yarborough, Director of School Counseling

Amy Larrick, Registrar

Marsha Gobrecht, School Counseling Assistant

Evan Rodgers, School Counselor (A-Cl)

Kevin Burke, School Counselor (Cm - Hoo)

Scott Valyear, School Counselor (Hop-Mcc)

Anna Rizzo, School Counselor (Mcd-Rose)

Amy Burgess, School Counselor (Rosf-Z)

Anmar Hale, Career Center Specialist

Kristan Ash, Parent Liaison

Noelia Garcia-Gettmann, School Psychologist

Lisa Harris, School Social Worker

Kim Hager, Student Assistant Specialist

Class of 2018 National Merit Commended Students:

We are honored to notify everyone that 12 our Riverside Seniors are being recognized as Commended students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. Our Commended Students are:

Greta Anderson

Taylor Barmak

Shreya Ganta

Alexander Kim

Alexander Klein

Karthik Kudum

Oeeshik Kundu

Paige Sikora

Shruthi Srivatsan

Leah Steiner

Janie Wu

Megha Yannam

These 12 seniors are being recognized for the exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the PSAT exam they took last year.

Out of 1.6 million students who took the PSAT last year our 12 students are among the 34,000 students nationwide who are being recognized with this honor.

Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Governor's School

Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts - Summer 2018

The Summer Residential Governor's School for Visual and Performing Arts is an intensive summer program for high school students. The program offers participants the opportunity to live, study and develop bonds with other students with similar interests and abilities from across the commonwealth. Both co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are designed to encourage students' interests and abilities.

The visual and performing arts programs include:

  • Dance
  • Instrumental Music
  • Visual Art
  • Vocal Music
  • Theater

  1. Interested students should have submitted their Intent to Audition form to Ms. Rizzo (School Counselor) on October 16, 2017.
  2. You will then be assigned a time for the local LCPS audition on November 6, 2017 at Riverside High School.
  3. Students who meet the LCPS Audition Requirements will be required to submit an application to Ms. Rizzo by December 8, 2017, and their applications will be sent to the state.

Visual and Performing Arts applications can be found here (once you follow the link, scroll to the bottom of the page).


Foreign Language Governor's School - Summer 2018

Applications are facilitated through the RVHS World Languages Department. Please see your teacher for more information.


Governor's School Academic Programs and Mentorships - Summer 2018

The Summer Residential Governor's School Academic Programs and Mentorships are month-long residential programs for 10th and 11th grade students in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The goal of each Governor's School is to provide opportunities for intellectual as well as social and emotional growth for those who attend.

There are four Academic Programs:

1. Agriculture

2. Humanities

3. Mathematics, Science and Technology

4. Life Sciences and Medicine.

The programs are housed on various campuses throughout the Commonwealth and are free to the students.

There are three Mentorship Programs:

1. Engineering at NASA/NIA

2. Marine Science at the Virginia Institute for Marine Science

3. Life Sciences and Medicine

Applications are due to Ms. Rizzo by December 8, 2017. You must submit hard copies in person; electronic copies cannot be accepted. You will notice that Governor's School requests two teacher recommendations. They are also due to Ms. Rizzo by December 8, 2017. Please give your teacher ample time when requesting a letter of recommendation.


Detailed information and applications can be found on the Governor's School webpage. Please make sure that you use the 2018 Summer Application as soon as the VDOE website is updated (estimated the first week in October). Make sure you use the appropriate applications - "Academic" or "Mentorship" - depending on the program you want to apply to. Note that the first page of the application must be typed rather than written in by hand (hence the need to download an electronic copy of the application).

The application asks you for the "School Division" and the "School Division DOE Code". The school division is Loudoun County Public Schools and the DOE code is 053-0900.

Below is the information you will need to help you fill out the first page of the application.

School Information: Riverside High School, 19019 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA 20176

Phone: 703.554.8907

Fax: 703.858.7411

Division Name: Loudoun County Public Schools

School Division DOE Code: 053-0900

HS Contact: Anna Rizzo

HS Contact Email: Anna Rizzo

Good luck! Please contact Ms. Rizzo if you have any questions

CLASS OF 2018!

Senior Students & Parents,

To view our "Post-Secondary Planning" presentation, access the Parent Assessment, Student Self-Assessment, Teacher Recommendation Request form, transcript request form for colleges and NCAA, please visit our Senior Resources page at: https://www.lcps.org/Page/181786.

To view our "Paying for College" presentation and other helpful financial aid resources, please visit our Financial Aid website at: http://www.lcps.org/Page/170519.

School Counselors are currently working hard to meet with all of their seniors to discuss their plans after graduation and to help them through the college application process. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email your School Counselor or contact our School Counseling office.

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Another great opportunity to access funds for college are scholarships. There are millions of dollars in private scholarships available each year. Companies, unions, foundations, community organizations, churches, and others sponsor scholarships ranging from a few hundred dollars to a free ride for all fours years of college.

Searching for scholarships takes time and energy, but remember – it’s free money!

How to apply for Scholarships:

  • Ms. Hale in the Career Center is the main contact for scholarships
  • Bookmark our Scholarship page! Check this page often for new scholarships and to search for external scholarships: http://www.lcps.org/Page/170546

  • Read the scholarship requirements and only select scholarships for which you qualify

  • Fill out the information requested on the scholarship application neatly and completely and make sure to proofread it!

  • Submit the completed scholarship application with any other documents that is required prior to the due date.

  • Make sure to pay attention to the scholarship deadline. If it is not an online application find out where you are supposed to submit the scholarship application. (Some are returned to Ms. Hale and some are mailed directly from you).

  • Scholarship applications require a copy of your transcript. Please see Ms. Hale in the Career Center to request your transcript or download the Scholarship Request form from our Transcript page: https://www.lcps.org/Page/199504

FACT: every year there is $32,000,000,000 available for students to win to pay for college!

Elks Most Valuable Student Scholarship

Criteria: Current high school seniors, or the equivalent, who are citizens of the United States are eligible to apply. Applicants need not be related to a member of the Elks. Applicants must be citizens of the United States on the date their applications are signed; permanent legal resident status does not qualify. Male and female students compete separately. You must take either the ACT or SAT on or before November 4, 2017

Application: http://www.elks.org/scholars/scholarships/mvs.cfm

Selection: Applications will be judged on scholarship, leadership and financial need

Deadline: November 27, 2017

Virginia Mayflower Society - Mildred Ramos Scholarship Fund - $1,620

Criteria: Applicants must be a high school senior, college undergraduate student, or a university graduate student under the age of 26 enrolled in an accredited educational institution. Applicant must satisfy at least one of the following requirements: Be a resident of Virginia; Be related to a resident of Virginia; Be a member or related to a member of the Virginia Mayflower Society

Applicant must have a grade point average of at least B or the equivalent.

Applicants must be sponsored by a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the Commonwealth of Virginia or by one of the applicant’s current teachers. The applicant does not need to be a member of the Society or related to a member*

Family members (children, nieces, nephews, and in-laws of members) of the Virginia Mayflower Society’s Board of Assistants or of its Scholarship Committee are not eligible for scholarship awards.

Applicants must provide a brief resume including a list of their academic achievements and community service

Applicants must present a copy of their official academic transcript for present year and the preceding two years.

Applicants must submit an essay of no more than 1500 words in the MLA, APA or Chicago Manual of Style format on the subject:

“The Pilgrims first landed near what is now Provincetown at the eastern end of Cape Cod, as they traveled west along the inner shore of the Cape they, like Champlain in 1606, had encounters with hostile Indians. However, after settling at Plymouth the Pilgrims received help from the Pokanokets Indians and became allies of their chief, Massasoit. What were the causes of the good relations between the Pilgrims and the Indians near Plymouth?”

Applicants must cite a minimum of 5 print/web sources, but do not cite Wikipedia. Do use spell check or grammar check.

Essays must be submitted in hard and/or electronic copy.

Your sponsor must send the committee a brief letter containing the name, address, telephone number and other contact information of the proposed applicant as well as that of the sponsor.

Prospective applicants who have questions or who would like additional information may contact:

Mr. James H. Maloney

Scholarship Committee Chairman

The Virginia Mayflower Society

1763 Bluff Mountain Road

Madison, VA 22727-3379 or


Selection: All applicants will be judged on their academic record, resume, and, predominantly, on their essay.

Deadline: Applications must be received by our Scholarship chairman by March 19, 2018

Women in STEM Study.com Scholarship – 1 @ $500

Criteria: Selection will be based on academic history and extracurricular activities

  • Financial need will not be considered

  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident

  • Applicant must be enrolled (or accepted) female student in an accredited college or university who is planning on continuing the next year

  • Applicant must be a graduating high school senior who meets the above mentioned criteria

  • Applicant must have a minimum of 30 semester or 45-quarter hours still to be completed

  • Applicant must consent to provide a digital photograph of self and quote for display on Study.com if notified as the award winner by the selection committee

  • Application can be found at: http://study.com/pages/Women_in_STEM_Scholarship.html

DEADLINE: April 1, 2018

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college visits

  • 11/1 Colby-Sawyer College
  • 11/2 University of Cincinnati
  • 11/3 The University of Tampa
  • 11/9 University of Mary Washington

nova - pathway to the baccalaureate


A special program at NOVA designed for students who:

  • Are interested in obtaining a bachelor’s (4 year/college) degree
  • May need assistance with the process and Are interested in starting at NOVA and transferring to George Mason or another 4 year college/university
  • Will graduate no later than August 2018
  • Have a strong desire for academic success
  • No minimum GPA is required to apply

Pathway Benefits in High School:

  • Individual meetings with Pathway counselor in the career center (meet about college transition issues, major/career planning, etc.)
  • Workshops on the application process
  • Preparation for placement tests & take placement test at riverside
  • Assistance with financial planning – including help with applying for financial aid, scholarships and NOVA payment plan
  • Priority course registration

Pathway benefits at nova:

  • Academic, career, transfer, financial aid counseling
  • One-stop shop
  • Can request same counselor at NOVA until transfer
  • Guaranteed admission agreements
  • Special Pathway agreement with George Mason Univ.
  • Special Pathway sections of College Success Skills course
  • Regular academic and social activities
  • Mid-Semester Progress Report

Important points:

  • Applying for and participating in the Pathway program does not bind you to NOVA – you can still apply/go to a 4 year school
  • Pathway students can transfer to ANY 4 year school, does not have to be GMU
  • All NOVA students can take advantage of the GAA’s, but Pathway students can start the process early and are provided additional support
  • NOVA application and the Pathway application are different

What do I do now?

  • Notify Ms. Hale that you are thinking about the Pathway Program
  • Obtain and fill out a Pathway application,
  • Return the application to Ms. Hale by the deadline, November 9th!
  • Acceptance decisions will be mailed out at the end of December/early January
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What does it mean to be an apprentice? Is there any kind of advantage to taking an apprenticeship instead of going the traditional route of the 4-year college degree? Most people would probably say that going to college is the best way to get ahead and to land a good job. However, more and more people are taking a new look at what an apprenticeship is, what it does, and how it can be a more effective enrty way into our current job market.

Apprenticeships offer an alternative path of entry into today’s labor market. Typically people think of jobs that come out of the apprenticeship model as “blue collar” low-paying positions that are only for those people who couldn’t get into college. More and more people are beginning to realize that taking an apprenticeship offers a much better return on investment for your educational dollar as well as opportunity to land a high-paying in-demand career. So, what exactly is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is an arrangement between an employer and an apprentice/employee. Basically, the employer will train the apprentice in a specifc industry field for an agreed upon length of time. While this hands-on training is taking place with a more experienced “mentor'” the apprentice is being paid a salary and is given additional classroom instruction. The end result is that the apprenticeship, typically 4 years, prepares the apprentice to be ready to sit for some type of industry certification examination.

For anyone who is thinking that college might not be the right option for them or is concerned with the rising cost of obtaining a college degree, an apprenticeship might make a lot of sense. Consider the two paths available……one to a high school grad that goes on to a four year college and to another that decides to take an apprenticeship.

The high school grad will enroll at the college of his/her chioce as a freshman. Statistics say that about 40% will not enroll again as a sophomore. For those that do re-enroll, about 28% will graduate in 4 years and about 60% will graduate in 6 years. His/her average salary, assuming they have graduated AND are able to find a job with no experience, will be about $50,000. The average college grad will also have about $30,000 in student loans to repay. In contrast, the high school grad that took an apprenticeship has been working for 4 years and getting job & indusrty specific hands-on training. The apprentice has been getting paid every week on a guaranteed increasing pay scale. At the end of an apprenticeship the average salary is about $50,000. More importantly, an apprentice has no student loans to repay. And, he/she is still employed as a valuable member of the organization.

One question for everyone to consider….. what is the desired goal for a high school graduate? Is the goal to receive a degree? Or, is the goal to get a job? The more you investigate what kind of job opportunities are out there that are supported by the apprenticeship model, the more inclined you will be to see if preparing yourself for a job makes more sense than recieving a degree. In addition, there is a current trend in our workplace market to increase differnt “types” of apprenticeships. No longer are apprenticeship positions limited to the traditional “blue collar” workforce. Comapnies are seeing the advantages of implementing their own apprenticeship models to train their workforce from the ground up. Industries like Bio-Tech, Cyber Security, Reatil Management, and many others are starting appreticeship programs because it makes sense for them to do it. It is cost effective.

So the question becomes…..why do we as a society continue to send our high school grads to diploma factories that pump out people who increasingly lack the required skill sets of our current marketplace? Does it make sense to pay higher and higher college costs and to borrow more and more for the result of an underemployed generation? Or, would it be smart to explore alternative paths that lead to guaranteed employment with good paying salaries and no college debt?

Please hear me when I say that college is not all bad. In fact, it is the right option for a lot of people. However, I believe it is time to stop going back to the “default” position of “every high school grad needs to go to college.” There are multiple paths into the job market. More and more of them are requiring “specific” industry skill sets. Why continue to support the stereotype that going to college is the only way to get ahead in life? If you look around, you will see plenty of people who did not go to college that are doing just fine.

If you happen to know a recent college grad, I wonder what he/she might say if you asked them…… “If you could, would you do it all over again? Or, would you be open to looking at alternative options to prepare you for a career?”

What is an Apprenticeship


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the 2018 step up loudoun youth competition

Step Up Loudoun Youth Competition encourages middle and high school youth across the county to identify an issue in their school, neighborhood or community, create a plan to address that issue, and implement the plan. The goal is to encourage, support and reward the youth of Loudoun County for making positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.
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monroe shadow day

Shadowing brings the classroom to life! During Shadowing Day, 9th - 11th graders will have the opportunity to visit two programs and attend an informational session on the benefits of Monroe and the application process. This is a half-day event and transportation is provided to and from your home school.

Riverside's Monroe Shadow Day is on December 6th. To sign up, please fill out the form here: https://www.lcps.org/Page/183450 Permission forms are due by December 1st Ms. Hale in the Career Center.

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Virginia Aerospace science & technology scholars (vasts)

For High School juniors and seniors, Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is an interactive online learning course with a space mission design and human space flight theme, culminating in a one-week residential Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton for those students who qualify. Offered at no cost to the student, VASTS consists of seven modules and a final project to be completed from November 2017 through May 2018 under the guidance of licensed master educators. Based on success in the online coursework, students may be selected to attend a Summer Academy where they interact with NASA scientists, engineers and technologists to design a human mission to Mars. Students who successfully participate in VASTS can apply to earn 2 college credits for the online course and 2 additional credits for the Summer Academy.

Please direct students or other faculty to the website for program information and application, http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS/

The deadline for student applications is November 12th, 2017.

For more information on this program, please contact:

Ian Cawthray
VASTS Education Program Coordinator
Or visit: http://vsgc.odu.edu/VASTS

For High School juniors and seniors, Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) is an interactive, on-line Earth System Science Course featuring NASA scientific research and data. The course is offered for dual enrollment college credit (statewide through TNCC) for high school juniors and seniors in the Spring semester 2018.

By combining detailed Earth System Science content with real world data analysis, students will be exposed to a rigorous course that will work across science disciplines to cultivate 21st Century Learning Skills. The program will focus on preparing students for the rigors of college and careers while allowing them to develop strong science-based skills such as critical thinking and inquiry-based problem solving. VESSS will have two components. The first component is an online sixteen-week course running from December through April. The second component is a residential NASA Summer Academy at NASA Langley Research Center for students who perform well in the course. Students who successfully participate in VESSS can apply to earn 3 college credits for the online course and 1 additional credit for the Summer Academy.

Please direct students or other faculty to the website for program information and application, http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS/ .

The deadline for student applications is November 12th, 2017.

For more information on this program, please contact:

Joyce Corriere
VESSS Education Program Coordinator
Or visit: http://vsgc.odu.edu/VESSS/

For high school sophomores, the Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is a program focusing on the earth and airborne science, engineering, and technology integral to current missions at NASA Wallops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. This dynamic (and FREE) program, designed by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), inspires students who possess technical and/or scientific interests and are motivated to learn about the many different opportunities that NASA offers.

The VSCS program features two key elements: 1) an on-line science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experience featuring five modules; and 2) a seven-day residential Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA where selected scholars will learn first-hand from NASA professionals about cutting edge technologies and missions.

Program Information:

  • FREE Program for 10th Grade Students
  • Online modules covering NASA aircraft, balloon, and sounding rocket missions launched or managed at Wallops Flight Facility
  • Online course runs from December 2017 through April 2018
  • Highly successful students will be selected for a week long Summer Academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (Chincoteague, VA)
  • The deadline for student applications is November 12th, 2017
  • http://vscs.spacegrant.org/ for application and more information

For more information, please contact Kirsten Manning, Education Program Coordinator, at kmanning@odu.edu.


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For additional information about anything listed in our newsletter, please visit our website or contact our office at (703) 554 -8907

Thank you,

RVH School Counseling