Truth vs Stigma: Who is the Career Center for?


Josiah Taylor

Current Career Center student discusses her personal decision to attend the Career Center and the stigma surrounding the school.

Josiah: Hello everyone. Welcome to the Knight Times podcast. I am Josiah Taylor. And today we are going to be talking about the stigma surrounding the career center and the importance of what goes on there, such as some of the essential blue collar jobs they prepare you for while still in high school. To learn more about that, we’re going to be talking with Corinne Keller, a digital design student at the Warren County career center, and her take on the misconceptions about what the career center is and what it’s doing to prepare students for essential jobs in their future. So Corinne, thanks for being here on the podcast. Really appreciate taking your time to work with us on this.I’m going to ask you some questions throughout, but let’s just start off by introducing yourself. 

Corinne: My name is Corinne Keller. I am in the 12th grade and I’m in the digital design program at the Warren County career center. of path. And she didn’t even want to go on the tour. She wanted nothing to do with the career center. She didn’t even care to like, go and learn about it. And to me that seems kind of foolish because I think if you give into those stereotypes and just like listening to what you’ve heard other people say, then how are you going to really know for yourself what it’s like? And so I decided to go on the tour, despite what a lot of the people in my life were saying, and it ultimately turned into a really good thing for me. And like going to the career center has probably been one of the best decisions I’ve made while in high school. So, yeah, but there were quite a few misconceptions coming in about it being a place for. People who aren’t bright and people who don’t know what they’re doing with their life or whatever else, which is absolutely not true. I’d say for a majority of kids who go in my opinion. 

Josiah: So Corinne, seeing that you are in digital design, has the career center better helped you develop in your field? 

Josiah: So starting off, what were some of your misconceptions about the career center going into it?

Corinne: They were everything. Everything from like here to the other side of the Atlantic, I had quite a few friends who tried to convince me not to come to the career center. I’m not going to lie. Or I remember when I was first throwing around the idea, right? Like they had a couple of officials come to my high school, Little Miami from the career center. A couple people from the career center who were trying to advertise the program and everything. This was a couple of days before we went on the tour in sophomore year. And they showed us a little video that was kind of like about the career center and what they did. And then they talked about some of the benefits of going, and I was like, Oh, this is actually something I’ve never considered before. Like the idea of going somewhere, because in my head, when I first heard about the career center, I thought of it as like, Oh, it’s like pre college. It’s like, you can go and then basically, you don’t have to take any stupid, like elective classes. You can cut the crap and just do the stuff you really want to do. And that was really appealing to me. And I was throwing around the idea because I wanted to stay at my home school to be in digital media arts. So I would’ve stayed there. But then if I would’ve stayed, if I would’ve gone to the career center, which I ultimately did, I would have gotten to do basically the same thing, but got an extra, you know, hour, half hour of being in class. And that was really appealing to me. Just the idea of having a more focused education, where I didn’t have to like to fill my time with all these other extra electives that I didn’t really care about. So I had this good impression in my head of wow wouldn’t this be a good idea for me? But all the other people in my life in my peer group were saying, don’t go to the career center. It’s just for a bunch of like druggies and people who, you know, Or at like juvenile detention centers or whatever else, like, like one of my friend group who were like, you know, the highly like nerdy, I’d say academic kids were like, no, you can’t go there because that’s where the dumb kids go. And that’s where the criminal kids go. That’s where they send the bad kids was the conception. And I had another friend who was also doing the digital media arts kind

Corinne: I would say positively.Yes. In the digital design program, we obviously learn a lot about the different Adobe programs, which I had already gotten some experience in while being at my school. And I could have like, stayed with that, you know, whatever. But the thing that really pushed me to go to the career center was how much more money they throw into their programs, you know, with like in terms of digital design, for example, we have a full like green screen studio and these really expensive cameras. I know our teacher estimated that  we probably have close to like $10,000 of equipment in our classroom alone, which is just insane to me. And it’s just a, really the fortunate thing I think, for all of us to have and the real benefit of going and being in a program like this is the fact that the career center being sort of like a focal point in our County has so much money from outside sources and companies being thrown into it that, you know, you’re getting a good education. And it’s helped me better develop in that because when you stay at your high school, yeah they kind of try to like help you go on certain paths and specialize in things. But especially if you’re trying to go for something like in an artistic program, they’re going to have lower quality stuff and not as much funding, but at the career center, they really can afford to like push in all of these different areas and not just in like digital design and like the art where I’m at, but also in terms of like, Welding and like heavy equipment where they have a lot of expensive stuff to use . Robotics, they have a lot of expensive equipment they get to use. Culinary, they have to pay to like keep their kitchen running and not to mention, if you go to green tree, the medical center they have where like they have all this high-tech equipment and whatever else, it’s just like amazing how much they have.

And all of the teachers of the programs are professionals in their fields are like, they are retired professionals. Like everyone’s done something before. Even my teacher used to do photography professionally before he ultimately started teaching at the career center. But like, it’s a real passion that’s shared there. And like you’re getting teachers who are professional, who know what they’re doing and they know what they’re talking about. In an environment that nurtures you and has the money to actually afford to teach you what they’re trying to teach. So I just think it’s absolutely helped me in that sense of like being able to provide beyond what my high school could.

Josiah: In your opinion, does the career center offer valuable career opportunities to pursue?

Corinne: I’d say absolutely. Whether like for whatever you’re trying to do, whether you’re trying to do something that is a little bit more obscure and competitive, I’d say like digital design or the graphic arts program, which is like mainly that’s the perspective I speak from because that’s what I’m familiar with. And most of the people I know come from those two programs, but they also like to gear people in lots of different career fields. I know cybersecurity is a career field that is like very highly in need right now, you know? And they need jobs in that field. They have programs for that. They actually have two nursing programs over at Greentree as well, which is another needed field. They have dental, healthcare management, anything that you can think of in like those different fields that are like highly, highly academic, I’d say. They also have valuable career experiences in terms of the welding and heavy equipment side of things. So like, whether you want to do really hands-on stuff like that, or you want to work in healthcare,  if you want to do IT,  or whatever it is you want to do, they have very valuable career fields to pursue I believe. I know a couple of kids from my high school who are in the IT program and they’re actually not even going to college. They just are getting the credentials they need. And then they’re going to be able to go straight to the workforce after that. And that’s something that they’re able to do because they go to the career center. And also, I think it’s a really valuable thing for people who maybe they want to go into a certain career field, but they don’t know a ton about it yet. Like, say for example, let’s take two people. For example, one person wants to be a veterinarian and choose to go to the career center. The other person wants to be a veterinarian, but they wait to like really learn anything about it and do studying until they like go into college. So that person who has already done the vet stuff in high school at the career center, they’re going to know so much more about it. And they’re going to have a better idea of if it’s actually something they care about. Versus if they wait until they go to college to like, do anything veterinarian related and then they get into their major and they find out it’s not what they want and they don’t like it and it’s not for them. What a better option to go to the career center and be able to learn firsthand. If it’s something you actually want to pursue as a career. I know a ton of people in my class who really thought they wanted to be designers and do that path, but now they’ve decided it’s really not for them, they hate it. But it’s such a fortunate blessing that they found that out while they were still in high school versus going into college to find that out and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on education that they hated, you know? And I think that that’s something really valuable, they offer as well. 

Josiah: Have you been introduced to new job opportunities through the career center to feel better about finding a job now? 

Corinne: I, for myself, would say absolutely yes. I’m really fortunate in my situation right now. Going into high school as a freshman, I always knew I wanted to go into the digital design field. This is something I’ve cared about for a really long time. And I’m still very, very passionate about pursuing. But when I went into high school, I kind of accepted college debt as a reality for me. Right? In terms of, Oh yeah. You know, art school is expensive. And that’s just the way of life, because you have to go to art school to get internships and to get connections and to build

your network and you have to do it in something that everyone has to do, and you just have to live with being in debt forever. And that was just something I kind of like took on for myself. I sort of just accepted debt and college debt is a reality for me and something that had to be in my life. But then I went to the career center and I saw all of these people in these different career fields who were saying, no, you don’t have to do that. You can go to Sinclair and get education for a lot cheaper, or you can just go into your career field right out of high school. Like you don’t have to do it. And that was just so amazing to me to learn that that was a possibility. And now I’m at a point where I am talking to actual industry professionals right now as like an actual 17 year old.

And you know, there’s a studio, a film studio that was like recording videos through our school. Like, like they were paid to like record videos for our school, you know, and they do like different video work, but they were allowing me to like shadow them and like follow them around. And they are, you know, I’m potentially going to get an internship with them that could lead into like a job right out of high school. And those are opportunities that absolutely would not have been presented to me in my fields. Had I not gone to the career center. Like I thought that college was a must that you had to do it, but like, I’ve really learned that at least for me, I’ve been able to find other paths through the career center and that’s something I’m really lucky to have had.

Josiah: What have you learned at the career center that will help you when you graduate and get into the workforce? 

Corinne: I’ve learned a lot of things, honestly, and I feel really fortunate to be blessed with an amazing teacher. I think one of the best aspects of the career center, like I already mentioned is the fact that the teachers know what you need to know, because they have actual hands on experience in that workforce. If you are just taking a regular digital design class at your high school, chances are that teacher has a teaching degree or like an art teaching degree or something, and they just, they don’t really have the experience. And like the business experience that you need to know.  But coming to the career center,  I had a teacher who like, had done it all, who would like actually been there and done that. And that’s something that I feel really like lucky about and fortunate. Yeah. And having a teacher with that experience, they’ve had a lot of knowledge to be able to pass down and they’ve taught me a lot more valuable things that I wouldn’t have been able to learn how to just it regular high school,  you know, like learned I could go on and on and on about the specific skills that I’ve learned from the career center, but I don’t, you know,  we’d be here all day. But they do offer like valuable experience and knowledge that you could not get just at a regular high school.

Josiah: Thank you so much for those well-put responses. Is there anything personally that you would still like to add?

Corinne: I don’t know, for anyone in terms of what else I would like to add. For anyone who is seriously considering going to the career center, I definitely recommend you do your research first, if they are offering tours, which I don’t think they are right now because of the pandemic. I strongly urge you to go, please dig into their website. They have like a whole page. They have like a page for every single one of their programs that they offer where you can like read down the list, reach out through email, to like the teachers, if you can. Try to connect with them personally, to like talk to them and be like, Hey, this is where I’m at. You know? And just like really, really try to touch base with people and learn if it’s going to be for you or not. Because for me, it’s been a great thing, but I’m not gonna sit here and lie. It isn’t the path for everybody, you know? And like, It is a big deal to kind of like, leave all of your friends and leave everything, you know, behind, to like go do this new, exciting thing of going to the career center. It is going to change and it’s going to change. The last half of your high school. But I think overall for me, it’s been a really valuable decision and don’t let what other people say about it, shut you off from the idea, you know, you have to go for it and you have to really be invested in finding it as an opportunity for yourself. And with that being said, also don’t go just because your friends are going, you know, and like, you feel like you have to keep the group together because you’re going to get so much more out of it. I think high school overall,  you’re going to get out of it, what you put in. So if you put effort into doing what you want, you’re going to get out of it, what you want. So don’t just go to the career center because you feel like you have to, because your friends are going, but don’t like your friends hold you back from going either. Just do your research about if it’s for you and you should definitely consider it as an option. I think it’s an amazing school. The faculty there really cares and they try to put an effort to make it a good place for students. And I would recommend it to a lot of people. 

Josiah: Well guys, thank you so much for listening to this podcast and obviously thank you Corinne for all of your valuable responses and answers toward what we were talking about with career center and essential jobs and job preparation for the future once you get out of high school and while you’re still in high school. Thank you guys so much for listening. Look forward to new podcasts in the future, and I hope this has helped you, whether you’re a person looking at going to the career center and you had some misconceptions or you didn’t really know what it was truly about. Or for students who are at Kings who just want to know more about what some of their friends are doing, because there are lots of people who have friends that go to the career center, or that go to the career center half day or for a full day. I personally am at the career center in the mornings for a program. And then I’m also at Kings in the afternoon for some of my basic classes that I take at the high school. Thank you guys. Once again, so much for listening and I’ll see you guys in the next podcast.