Seniors get real-world lesson before they graduate from high school

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Seniors at Lanett High School are being sent off into the world with real-world skills thanks to Monday’s Independent Life Skills program.

Around 40 Lanett seniors attended the program this year. Kierra Trammell, TJ Bridges and Collan Bison said the program taught them skills that often go overlooked.

“When you’re going somewhere, you don’t think they’re going to teach you how to change a tire or about taxes,” Trammell said. “And most people overlook voting as well.”

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The program is organized by the Chambers County Extension Office and the Chambers County Development Authority. In recent years, the two groups have partnered to get students engaged with community leaders who can help them develop their skills.

The program is open to schools countywide depending on schools’ schedule availability. Chambers County Extension Coordinator Rachel Snoddy said they try to work with the career readiness coach at each school to schedule time for the program.

Snoddy said the goal of the program is to provide students with basic life skills that they will use after they graduate from high school. The stations are based on a curriculum from 4-H. The Chambers County Extension office and CCDA work together to get volunteers in the community with real-world experience for each station.

Bison said the instructors also taught them about different resources in the community. He said he didn’t know about the workforce and resume-building resources that are offered at the Circle of Care Center for Families.

This year the students learned about car maintenance from Steven Dobbs from Farmers & Merchants Bank, interview skills from Kevin Pigg from Circle of Care Center, new hire paperwork from Jennifer Crawley from Challenge Manufacturing, voting and citizenship from Commissioners Sam Bradford and Debra Riley, and meal planning from Katie Hill & Rachel Snoddy from the Chambers County Extension.

Bridges said he was glad to get background information about car maintenance because he’s had his car break down before and didn’t know what to do about it.

But all three agreed that the stations that focused on workforce development were their favorite.

“My favorite session was the workplace document station,” Bison said. “We learned all about the different documents we had to have to be employed in the United States. It’s very helpful to know what documents you need and how to fill them out.”

Trammell and Bridges said they preferred the interview skills station because they plan to apply for jobs and internships after graduation.

They also learned the importance of networking in gaining a job or internship at the session.

The CCDA’s Andie Roberts said she was grateful to the volunteers who came out to lend their knowledge.