School officials have extended the ability for children to consider what they want to be when they grow up by having middle schoolers explore career programs.
Students are being asked to consider their future career choices at an early age, even before entering high school. The school officials at the Fayette County Career and Technical Institute (FCCTI) in Georges Township holds a summer camp to help them experience various vocational choices.
During June, FCCTI’s summer camp gave fifth-, sixth- and seventh-grade students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the various programs offered at the vocational school.
“The camp was originally used for recruiting, but it’s now become about public awareness,” said Nancy Rossell, camp coordinator. “The students gain clarity as far as a career choice. This is an exploratory camp that allows students to explore their options, and explore what’s available right in their own community.”
The students chose six programs to explore over the three-day camp, including demolition, construction/electrical wiring, theater make-up, auto-mechanic and movie production, among others.
Over the past six years, interest in the camp has grown immensely, Rossell said.
She said 266 students applied to take part in the camp this year, but they were able to accept only 175. The highest number of campers came from the Albert Gallatin Area School District.
While some students applied for the second year in a row, Rossell said all first-time students were automatically accepted.
“We get better every year,” said Dr. Ed Jeffreys, FCCTI executive director. “And what helps us get better is the kids. We’re noticing that the students were leaning more toward academia — they’re academic, well spoken young people. It’s pleasantly surprising, how positive they are and the intellectual level they’re at. It’s amazing.”
Garrett Brown, a seventh-grade student in the Albert Gallatin district, said he’s not sure if he’ll attend the technical institute as a high school student, but that it’s something he’s considering.