College/Technical School Counselor for a HS Junior

Hi -- I have a 16 year old son who will be a high school junior this fall and is very interested in digital visual effects, animation and video game design.  He wants to pursue a career in digital effects/video game design.  I'm looking for a college/career counselor who can help him determine appropriate trade/technical programs and/or colleges as well as help him with the necessary application requirements - i.e., putting together a game plan/schedule, what he needs to do as it relates to test-taking, portfolio preparation, applications, etc.  He has ADHD and is a high functioning spectrum kid.  Any advice on who would be good at working with him?  Thanks so much in advance.

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Hi mom-in-training, 

I'm the teen librarian at Berkeley Public Library North Branch (1170 The Alameda, Berkeley), and on Saturday, August 27th, 3-4pm, we will have a Community College Workshop with Rebecca LaCocque from Peralta Colleges. She will be talking about opportunities at community colleges and I believe that some of our local community colleges have classes in digital visual effects, animation, and video game design (a coworker of mine is taking some of these courses!). 

What is neat is that it is possible for high school (and even middle school!) students to take courses now for free (up to 11 units per semester). Or just knowing that these programs are available might be motivating for when your son has graduated college. I know from experience there are some wonderful programs at community college that can help students manage a variety of scheduling and educational needs. I expect that Rebecca LaCocque will be able to let you know about a variety of resources and options for your son. 

As someone who needed motivation when I was in high school, once I learned about opportunities, my academic drive kicked in! 

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Kirstin Mandalay

kmandalay [at]