“Without this program, high school would probably be pretty boring,” Zach Weeder, the 2017 senior shared about his experience with the Career Education Program at Kearney High School.
A student of the Skilled and Technical Sciences Small Learning Community, Zach knew early in his high school career that cars were his primary interest and the program’s personality and career interest assessments reaffirmed this passions. By sophomore year, Zach began taking auto shop classes and continued to add more each semester to his schedule.
“My classes have definitely been relevant,” he shared. “I’ve learned a lot of things I know I’m going to remember forever, like how to use certain types of tools and how to apply general safety ideas.”
Eventually, he was selected to participate in the BluePrint Engines internship, one of the partnership opportunities Kearney High created to help provide real-world experience for students.
Headquartered in Kearney, BluePrint Engines is one of the largest crate engine manufacturers in the world and has produced more than 200,000 engines for cars and trucks. Through its relationship with the school, the company provides students an opportunity to shadow and apply the skills they’re learning at school, working side by side with its professionals.
In Zach’s role, he created smaller parts for the engines, a small but significant part of the production. While we were there we saw him in action with BluePrint Engine staff members who helped guide him into each project, allowing him to gain more autonomy.
Not only does this experience provide additional training and workplace skills, it opens students, like Zach, to a world of possibilities here in Nebraska.