Decision Day is a day of celebration held throughout the month of May to mark the next step in the lives of graduating seniors.
On that day Manistee County seniors announce their future plans continuing their education whether at a community college, a four-year college or university, a training program, the military, or with plans of entering the workforce.
Launch Manistee coordinates the day and program director Mary Ann Behm said the purpose of Decision Day is twofold.
“The first is to honor the students for taking the next step in their lives and the second one is to bring in the underclassmen and get them thinking about what they want to do in the upcoming years,” said Behm.
Each high school in Manistee County celebrates Decision Day through a multitude of events, plans and celebration joining over 300 high schools across the state.
Behm said it is one of the happiest days of the year for those students.
“This is the fourth year that all six area high schools are participating in Decision Day activities in Manistee County and the collaboration and spirit continue to grow,” said Behm. “We are proud of these young adults who have made the decision to take charge of their future by continuing their education.”
In addition to a chance to win donated raffle prizes, each student was given a “Decision Day” T-shirt, sponsored by Sports Ink and a new sponsor this year – 4Front Credit Union.
Each school throughout Manistee County celebrate the day in a different fashion. Graduates from Bear Lake, Brethren, CASMAN, Manistee Catholic Central, Manistee High School and Onekama held events designed to reflect the uniqueness of each school.
Manistee Catholic Central viewed a slide presentation with pictures of each senior along with their “decision” and a favorite quote was shown. Seniors were also treated to a cake and each student received a basket of “life necessities” to take with them regardless of their destinations.
The seniors at Manistee High School gathered together and were featured as each decision option was shown on the big screen on stage and picked up sunglasses provided by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN). Some students were lucky enough to win prizes ranging from water bottles to dorm refrigerators.
Enthusiasm at Brethren High School was high when seniors “high fived” their classmates in a receiving line as the master of ceremonies shared their “decisions”. Younger students from the elementary school joined in the fun as the concept is to get them thinking about what they want to do after high school.
Seniors at Bear Lake were recognized for their post-secondary plans and special “guests” were present including two recruiters as well as a representative from Concordia University. Prizes, donated by school staff, were raffled and given to the seniors.
The entire student body gathered to celebrate the seniors. The seniors who had younger siblings in the school participated in various games together. Between games, the seniors got a chance to share their “decisions” with staff and students.
Behm said she appreciated the efforts of all the staff at the county schools for their enthusiasm and assistance in putting these ceremonies together.