The West Allis Central High School “Bulldogs” and the Nathan Hale High School “Huskies”
The students at Nathan Hale and Central High Schools in the West Allis/West Milwaukee school district have spent a lot of time thinking about where they see themselves after high school. Students at both schools are taking general education courses and using technology in creative and innovative ways to be successful in their classes. Nick from Nathan Hale HS completed a cool science project on his Ipad, one of the many uses the grant team has developed for the Ipad.
Several of the grant students participate in after-school sports, band, as well as a variety of general education classes. Their employment interests range from church and youth activities to sports, caring for animals, repairing cars, restaurant work, and retail. The students have visited an oil change shop and other local businesses, and they helped out with an auction at Channel 10, getting a taste of a day at a TV station.
Closely working with Creative Employment Opportunities (CEO), the team is exploring job possibilities in the WA/WM community and on July 8 will start a “job boot camp” to focus on job skills for grant students. A pamphlet detailing the benefits to employers of employing students with disabilities and the supports the school will provide is in the pipeline to be completed and distributed during the fall 2013.
During the school year the students manage, work, and solicit donations for their in-school coffee shop, the Central Perk. Kayla has taken on the responsibility for the day to day management of Central Perk this year and really enjoys it. Her work there has piqued her interest in working at a coffee shop in town. She and several of her fellow students are also interested in going to college.
Based on the students’ and staff’s Opportunity Mapping (School Opportunity Map) at school and in the community, many local businesses have been identified as potential employers. Local recreation centers, churches, sub shops, big box stores, and auto repair shops, to name a few, are being approached as potential employers. There is much excitement among the students as they consider where they will be after high school – in a job of their choice or perhaps college.
What are the students up to?
Kayla has interviewed with CEO and DVR. She is still considering employment options; she’s taken advantage of job shadow opportunities and showed herself to be a quick study at Walgreens. After observing a stocker at a West Allis Walgreens, Kayla was charged to perform the same job to specific specifications. She proved to need little additional instruction, and continued to stock shelves for over an hour. At the end of the job shadow Kayla said that she could see herself in that job and enjoying her work. Her stellar performance yielded her an invitation to participate in a summer internship at a local Walgreen’s.
Dylan accompanied Eddie on the tour of WP Express Auto Garage and Oil Change last year. Dylan, however, is more interested in the food industry and looks forward to his first job in a restaurant. He particularly enjoyed the tour of Culver’s and sees himself as a restaurant employee.
Tyler’s interests lean more to basketball and sports, so after a couple of job tours, he decided that he is more suited to working in the sports- related clothing and shoe retailer business. Tyler is participating in a summer internship at the Shoe Carnival.
Eddie’s interest in cars was reinforced by his success in his auto shop class last year. He wants to pursue this interest and make a career out of repairing automobiles. As part of the Let’s Get to Work grant Eddie and two of his classmates toured WP Express Auto Garage and Oil Change. This garage services all American Cabs in the city of Milwaukee and has an express oil change for the public. Eddie loved the tour of the “oil pit” and the oil change demonstration from inside the pit! He currently works at Advanced Auto Parts and Salvage.
Ryan is interested in animals and working at the Zoo. He also loves television, especially the Three Stooges and other television sit-coms. He enjoyed the visit to the Channel 10 Auction/Cafeteria and Food Service where students took a tour of the production area of the live TV broadcast then had an opportunity to be on the Auction Stage on live TV! He recently applied to be part of the new Project SEARCH site at the Milwaukee County Zoo and is hopeful he will get into the program.