Program helps prepare students for future careers

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. Research shows that young people will change careers four times by the time they turn 32 years of age and five to seven times throughout their lifetime.

It's an alarming statistic that has North Platte Public School District officials concerned.

"A lot of times our students will go to college and when you look at statistics it shows that a lot of them change their majors in just their first year of college; that's a very expensive time to figure out what you want to do," said Careers Instructor and Field Internship Facilitator Amy Sabatka.

However, Sabatka is hoping to change that.

"We wanted to get students some experience out in the work world to help them make those decisions of, "is this going to be the right place for me once I get done with my education?" she said.

The district rolled out its internship program last year to help students with career planning and community work experience.

"With the careers and internship class it helps combine their interest, their aptitudes and their skills they're good at," Sabatka said. "It helps make those career decisions earlier and then the internship gives them the experience to help solidify "is this really what i want to do for the rest of my life?"

The program is only in its second year and is paying off for students.

"Once I do make that choice, if I do decide to go into business I now have background knowledge when it comes to marketing," said junior Bryce Harvey.

"Getting into physical therapy (PT) school is a really hard thing in itself and so she (Mrs. Sabatka) has tried to prepare me for the even right now before I get to college so it's an amazing feeling," said senior Katy Hansen.

In its first year, the pilot program had three students participating in the internship program. There are currently twelve upperclassmen enrolled in internships throughout the community.