Youth Apprenticeship Program

The wheels of career development are turning early for some Thomasville High School students. A program is available to get students exposed to the ups and downs of their prospective careers.

Through the Youth Apprenticeship Program students get hands-on experience in careers from business to education and it not only benefits these students, it also ensures a highly skilled work force in Georgia in the future.

On her lunch break at school, Latecia Lundy seems like your average 12th grader, but on top of maintaining a 3.4 GPA and cheerleading practice, she's also a certified nurse assistant at Archbold Hospital.

"It took me a couple of months to get use to it, getting up in the morning coming to the hospital, going to school. It was hard, but after I got use to it I was like, okay, I like this, it's fun and I'm learning and getting experience," says Latecia.

Through the Youth Apprenticeship Program students work two hours a day at local businesses. As a result, the coordinator says a majority of the kids go on to college to get a degree in their field of choice.

"It was initiated in Georgia because they wanted to ensure a good education and a highly skilled workforce. They wanted to bring together some components, career and education, and when you think about it that's what educators do to get students prepared," says Patrice Harris, Coordinator for the Apprentice Program.

"This experience with being a CNA in high school, I can put it on such resumes or maybe on college applications,” adds Lundy.

Lundy says though juggling both school and work is a tough feat, it's worth it. It makes her certain this career is what she'd like to do from nine to five in the future.

Students are screened for the program and one qualification is that they have plans to attend college after school.

This program carries some other significance to this area. The program's director says it serves as a recruitment tool for businesses in Thomasville. It's a way to get the students to stay in this area or come back after college to work.