New program at Carthage Tech Center motivates students to give back to the community

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CARTHAGE, Mo. — A new career tech program in Carthage is benefitting more than the students working on it.

Students at the Carthage Tech Center have to get some real world experience before graduating. And in this case, that means a senior with mobility issues can get around his house much more easily.

Grant Geter, CHS Student, said, “I don’t think it was tough. You just had to take your time.”

That’s the home-based construction project Grant Geter tackled with classmate Carlos Reyes.

“We actually got the ramp finished in three hours – all they had to do after that is finish the hand rails.”

Geter and Reyes are both working toward a new Career and Technical Education certificate. It’s an honor at graduation – and a potential plus for their future education and career. But it’s also a big benefit to one local resident.

Carlos Reyes, CHS Student, said, “It was a real world thing – actually helping someone out. Not like a school project.”

And real work experience is the goal. Students are supposed to get 50 hours of work based learning as a step toward the CTE certificate.

Rhonda Derryberry, Carthage CTC, said, “They have to have a GPA, they have to have an attendance rate. They have to do the work based learning, get three letters of recommendation, be active in career and technical – all those experiences as adults we know those are great.”

The project partnered Geter and Reyes with volunteer group Hearts and Hammers. It went so well, Carthage staff say they’ll use this to create more real world opportunities for students in the future.

“We are going to be more purposeful next year and connecting our young ladies and gentlemen.”

This is the first year students can earn the CTE certificate.

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