Constructing a Successful Future
What are you doing after graduation?
High school students sometimes dread that question. Some are unsure of what to study when they go to college. Others know or are unsure college is a fit for them. But, they want to pursue a future that includes a career and advancement opportunities.
Across the US, trade jobs are in high demand. The Lincoln, Nebraska community recognized education is not one size fits all. Leaders decided to build The Career Academy (TCA). At the state-of-the-art facility, students can explore their options. They learn with top-notch equipment, and graduate with certificates, licenses, and even college credit.
Just one success story
Meet Paeton. She’s a strong, smart, and sassy young lady who doesn’t mind being the only girl in her construction class. She chose an education path less traveled and the one that’s right for her. In doing so, she’s breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings.
“Coming to The Career Academy is the best part of my day because I am doing what I like doing.”
Unsure of what she wanted to do, she felt like a fish out of water at her high school, the largest in Lincoln. With college approaching, nothing was engaging her. She decided to try TCA’s construction career pathway.
“Construction really intrigues me. Getting to see a project start to finish and the hands-on activity helps me learn. I can’t sit in a classroom all day—my brain doesn’t work that way.”
Now, as she starts her senior year, Paeton is confidently pursuing her dream to renovate and restore homes.
While a fine student in the traditional classroom, she is at the top of her class at TCA. She even has job offers contingent on graduation.
“The Career Academy has helped me figure out what I want to do. Had I not come here, I would have pursued being a teacher. Now I know that I want to be in construction," Paeton said. "This learning style is motivating because it makes me want to continue learning.”
“I’m more confident than before because I’m doing the same thing as the boys in my class. I’m a girl and doing what I enjoy.”
TCA is a joint venture between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College. Its goal is to provide academic and real world experiences to high school juniors and seniors. Students explore options and find their passions through 16 different career pathways. All while completing high school and dual credit courses.
Like all TCA students, Paeton now has options. These include:
- Enhanced employment opportunities because of the skills acquired at TCA.
- Earning, or be on the way to earning, a certification.
- Continuing classes to complete a 2-year degree, at a community college.
- Enrolling in a four-year college and using college transfer credits earned.
Whether early childhood, culinary, health science or construction trades, TCA provides quality career-focused programs. Students are prepared for continued education and employment. The hands-on learning experience contributes to their personal growth, as well as the economic growth of their community.
Follow your path
For students like Paeton, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. A world of knowledge could be at your fingertips. Find your path and follow it. Seek to learn and gain as much experience as you can. Don’t be afraid to put on your work boots and choose the style of learning that’s calling your name.
“We encourage current sophomores to apply. Come test drive your future,” says TCA Director Dr. Dan Hohensee. “The academic and real world experiences provided at TCA can transform the life of any student. Thanks to the support of the community and our business partners, we are able to tell every student that we believe in ‘The Power of You’".