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GCI students learn skills for future careers

Delaney Bryson, News Editor

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For 15 years, Fenton High has offered an alternative option to the typical six class schedule to its students. Genesee Career Institute provides the opportunity for hands-on career experience in high school. It can also provide a variety of different experiences depending on what courses students take.

“At first, I thought GCI was going to be like a job and it was going to be intense,” senior Niki Mathee said. “While it is hands-on like a job, there is still a lot of classwork like a regular class in school. I have to put in a lot of hours for my course so that I can get licensed when I graduate, but it’s a lot of time that I’m investing into my career. There’s also a lot of preparing for the state boards test that I have to take to pass the course, so it can be mentally and physically draining, but in the end I believe it will be worth it.”

Depending on the course they take, GCI enrollees can get college credits and certificates, such as in Mathee’s course, advanced cosmetology. This can help students who choose to get a start to their career.

“I’m takinging the Electrical Wiring course,” senior Jacob Humpert said. “So far, we’ve learned a lot of things that isis specific to that kind of career, such as the electrical theory, which is all the math behind the wiring and we’ve learned lots of technical terms like types of tools and word definitions. We’ve also learned skills that can be applied to any job, though, like mathematics, communication and leadership.”

On average, around 90 to 110 FHS students enroll in GCI every school year. The number of courses offered to students varies from year to year, depending on what the GCI building can provide that year.

“I’m in the Advanced Nursing program at GCI,” senior Drew Follett said. “My sophomore year, I heard that GCI offered medical classes and that really interests me. My parents always encourage me to try new things so I decided it wouldn’t hurt anything to take the course. I ended up liking it very much and getting that experience helped me decide what I’d like to do after high school because I got so much hands on experience. I would like to get my master’s degree in nursing and eventually become a nurse practitioner.”

GCI is taken in place of three electives for seniors and two for juniors. Those who participate in the program spend two to three hours in regular high school classes, then spend the rest at GCI. Depending on the session of GCI they are in, attendees could spend the beginning, middle or end of their school day at the GCI building.

“I would recommend all students try GCI,” assistant principal Laura Lemke said. “They can get some hands on skills, use equipment that is typically not available to a local district due to the cost, such as bulldozers and other heavy equipments, use skills in the field like clinicals at medical facilities, hospitals and doctor’s offices and try out a career without having to pay the cost of tuition.”

For more information about GCI, students can obtain a flyer from the counseling office, which has more details on what programs are currently being offered.

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