Every year in high schools across the country, student-athletes participate in Signing Days to commit to sports at colleges and universities.
For many students, though, the next step beyond high school is a career. Until now, that step hasn’t always received the attention it deserves. This year, Great Oaks Career Campuses and other area career-technical schools honored graduating students with Signing Days as they committed to employers and prepared to begin the career for which they’re certified.
Signing Day took place in May at all four Great Oaks career campuses. Hundreds of parents, employers and students gathered as 273 seniors committed to area employers. From healthcare to automotive technology to veterinary assisting and more, students from 12 career programs stepped on stage to begin their journey.
Many of the students were entering traditional positions in their field. There were some unique signings, though. Lindsey, a Laurel Oaks student in the automotive technology – Collision program came to Great Oaks because, in her words, “I love to paint cars.” She was destined for bigger things, though, as she signed on with AMES/Airborne to use her painting skills on aircraft.
Sidney, a Diamond Oaks Equine Science and Management student, found that her love of horses and new skills in equine care will take her around the country. She leaves for Canada in a few weeks to begin a road trip caring for the horses of the Knights of Valour, an international performing and educational group dedicated to full-contact jousting.
For employers, too, this was an important event. Doug Hyrne, owner of Time Savers Heating and Cooling, hired a student in the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning program—the same program Hyrne graduated from at Scarlet Oaks in 1992. He spoke after the ceremony about his own journey. “Great Oaks was a turning point for me,” he said. “I always advise students to learn a skill, no matter what they think they’ll be doing in the future.”
Along with the 273 students who participated in the ceremonies, many other Great Oaks graduates are already planning their college, career or military future. In a typical year, about 92 percent of Great Oaks graduates go directly to a career, college or the military.