CAESAR CREEK STATE PARK — About 85 students in the CareerX program at all four Great Oaks campuses met at Caesar Creek State Park Wednesday to celebrate their successes and challenges for the year. Dubbed “Walk the Journey of Unique People,” the activity gave the students a chance to meet other students from across the region and learn more about the park and about themselves.
These students, who have met a variety of challenges throughout their education, walked a two-mile “path of success” on the hiking trail after an opening ceremony by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. They gathered for lunch at the park afterward. Laurel Oaks students in the Computer Service Technician and Networking program served as trail guides and assistants.
CareerX is a unique career exploration program for high school students with special needs. Through classroom work and hands-on training, students learn employability skills in five career areas. Students who complete the program can move on to employment, continue in a career-technical program at Great Oaks, or begin working with a local or state agency.
The students learned a bit about the history of Caesar Creek Lake, and then Great Oaks Career Campuses vice president talked about CareerX’s seven-year history.
Laurel Oaks CareerX instructor Kelly Keeton spoke next about the program and the instructors’ hopes for the students. “Today, like every day, you’re moving forward,” she told the students. “When you’re finished in CareerX, you can go to an employer and say ‘Here is my different ability. Let me show you what I can do for you.’”
“Every student has made a giant step to learn employment and independent skills for their future,” said Keeton about the event. “The discussion of planning their future and taking on new challenges in CareerX are building self-esteem and self-determination.
“We celebrate every step they take!”