High school is a tough time for many, and trying to figure out a career to pursue after graduating is an even tougher decision. One new program is trying to help students with these struggles, and it is right here in Athens.
The Great Promise Partnership, (GPP), is a program that helps high school students with their studies, opens up job opportunities for them, and aids them in pursuing the career they desire after graduating high school. The GPP offers help to students who wish to further their education, go straight into the job force, enlist in the military, or whatever their career goals may be. This school year, the GPP has 688 students in their program across the state and 208 of those students are currently working in jobs.
Two students currently in the program are Dekota Whitehill and Naomy Huaman. Both students work at the the Carrier factory in Athens, Georgia early in the morning, then head to their high school classes later in the morning.
Dekota, (pictured left), is a sophomore at Cedar Shoals High School and has been working at Carrier for nearly a year. He says that the program
has been very helpful and a great experience so far.
“I feel like it’s given me a sense of responsibility because I have to get up every morning early and be at work before I go to school,” Dekota said. “It’s dedication…you have to be willing to put into it as much as it’s giving to you.”
Naomy, (pictured right), is a senior at Clarke Central High School and has been working at Carrier for almost eight months. She says that before this program, college had always seemed out of reach.
“I don’t have my parents, so going to college was kind of a long dream for me,” Naomy said. “Carrier helped me a lot with assuming responsibilities, and also I’ve learned how to save up.”
Naomy was recently accepted into the University of North Georgia. She will move up to Dahlonega and start classes next year.
Cedric Richardson is a manufacturing supervisor at Carrier and oversees Dekota and Naomy at Carrier. He says he is very proud of Dekota an Naomy.
“They have been so successful in the program because of their determination,” Cedric said. “These two have really stepped up and took ownership in their area.”
Cedric continues by explaining how he thinks the Great Partnership Program helps students.
“It makes them feel more part of something,” Cedric says. “We teach them how to work together as a team, they’re preparing for their future…and I think the kids are really, really buying into [the program] and really benefitting from it.”
Dekota and Naomy both said that they would recommend this program to others, but only if they were in it for the right reasons.
“If you’re going to commit to it, you have to be dedicated to put into it,” Dakota said.
“If they’re up to the challenge, yes…it’s kind of like a family you can’t let down,” Naomy said.
The Great Promise Partnership will have an estimated 40 statewide employers like Carrier for the 2016-17 school year. Current local employers also include the Eaton Corporation, Caterpillar, Power Partners, and local Zaxby’s.
By Zak Huberty
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