Gibson County Program Gives Students Work Experience

TRENTON, Tenn. – Students from different local secondary schools gain real work experience.

“These students have become a vital part of our county’s workforce, and we are truly proud of the work they do,” said Emily Pitt, project director for the Innovative High School program.

High school students from Milan, Peabody, Gibson County and South Gibson County High School participate in the Innovative High School Grant program, which allows them to work while attending school.

“They learn how to juggle a school schedule and a work schedule, they learn time management skills, they learn great communication skills, and they really learn why going to work is important,” Pitt said.

These students have spoken to leaders from different organizations about their experience, and Pitt says this program helps students even after high school.

“What really sparked this program was that the students reinvented their day. We used to have work-based learning in high schools, but I think what sets us apart from a typical work-based learning course or program is that it’s something that these students can continue to do after high school,” Pitt said.

Pitt says this program helps students on their career path.

“Students have a pretty intense application process. They sign a contract, they have teacher recommendations, school counselor recommendations, and then we go from there to place them in their chosen career path by doing a career interest assessment with them to help determine where they would be best suited,” Pitt mentioned.

Some students say that this program has helped them immensely.

“It had a major impact on me because it motivated me to go to college and continue down the path of being a nurse, or CNA, in this field,” said Peyton Carter, a senior at the South Gibson County High School.

“I regret not being able to do it in the fall and having waited so long to do it because it’s a really good experience, and it teaches you so much and you meet so many people,” said Ann. Taylor Elliot, senior at Peabody High School.

If you or your student attend one of these Gibson County schools and would like more information about the program or would like to apply, you can ask an Innovative High School Grant staff member on campus to submit an application.

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Maria D. Ervin