Chloe Brookbank: Jennings students join work-based learning

NORTH VERNON — More and more senior students are taking advantage of the work-based learning program offered at Jennings County High School.

This program is an opportunity offered either inside or outside the workplace, including everything from health care placement, industrial placement, small business placement, retail, food and beverage placement, law enforcement placement, government, judicial placement and a host of other work-based learning opportunities.

Work-based learning is characterized by the combination of experiences in educational and workplace settings. It applies academic, technical and employability skills in a workplace setting and includes support from classroom and workplace mentors.

Students spend two class periods at their placements every day, allowing the workplace to concentrate on trying to close the skill gap and helping to ensure that the skills students graduate with are the skills employers need.

Sherissa Centers interns at Kelley Florist. “I foresee myself continuing my career in the floral industry. I love working with flowers, and my job is very enjoyable. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to intern at a flower shop. With all facts in consideration, I am hopeful to have a flower business of my own one day,” Sherissa said.

Halle Boardman, intern at Brush Creek Elementary, said she looks forward to the experience every day. “Since the day I started, I have felt welcomed and loved by everyone in the school. The students in the school are amazing, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet these kids and develop close relationships with them. The thought of knowing I may have made an impact on their lives is something I will never forget. This internship has made me realize how much I love being around kids and how much of an impact I can really make. I can definitely see myself pursuing this career in the future.”

Kaylee Hasert, Eye Care Group intern, said, “Everyone treated me with so much respect and kindness. I’m beyond privileged to have had this opportunity in high school. Being placed in an environment of incredible people, like Dr. Maggie Lisle, is something I’m very thankful for.”

Brianna Hines, Dove & Dillon intern, said, “I believe that this is also something I would be interested in. I have already applied to two colleges and showed them I was interested in their pre-law programs. Ever since I was little, I have imagined myself in this career. It’s something that I have worked very hard for and wish to get into. This dream has not faded but only gotten stronger as I’ve matured. So yes, I do believe that I will be going into this career in the future after my schooling.”

Isaac Holloway, Southeast Purdue Agriculture Center intern, said, “While this internship wasn’t quite what I was looking for when I applied for the class, it has been completely worthwhile. The knowledge I’ve gained by working at SEPAC filled in a lot of gaps in my understanding of the field of agriculture, and educated me in the bits I hadn’t previously known. The opportunity to participate in the operations of an agricultural facility has taught me to use several different pieces of equipment, along with the proper safety in using said equipment. I also enjoy the fact that almost all of the labor is outdoors, making my job 1000% more enjoyable. Although I don’t see myself pursuing a career in agriculture, the experience itself has introduced me to a new type of work that is more fulfilling than fast food or retail.”