How many people can say they’ve had the opportunity to present their high school projects to a government department? For one student, this was a reality.
AJ Campbell, a senior at Sandy Creek High School, interned at Fayette County’s Division of Public Works and was given the opportunity to present a Path Needs Assessment for the Jenkins Road Complex, which includes Sandy Creek High, Flat Rock Middle and Robert J. Burch Elementary.
After his research, Campbell discovered there were only three existing sidewalks that border each school. However, he quickly realized that there were no sidewalks connecting the schools. He presented his assessment to the Transportation Committee, which included Phil Mallon, director of the public works division.
With an understandable amount of nerves and the support of his supervisor, Campbell explained the need for sidewalks, that would connect to the surrounding schools, to provide safety for students as they walk to and from school, or walking field trips from school to school.
“The board acknowledged that I knew exactly what I was talking about. They were very pleased with my ability to answer all of their questions in detail,” he says.
Impressed with his presentation, Campbell received permission to move forward with the project and hopes to complete a site plan before the end of the school year.
This internship was made possible through the school system’s work-based learning program, which helps high school students prepare for careers of their own choosing and strengthen their understanding of academic concepts through practical application.
“The work-based learning program has helped me drastically improve my social skills, public speaking skills, and other soft skills needed for life and my future career goals,” says Campbell, who is a part of the engineering pathway.
Hoping to become a civil or mechanical engineer, Campbell says this internship has been the best experience, “I’ve enjoyed my experience and the knowledge I’ve gained. I would highly recommend this program to future students looking for real life work experience.” — Article provided by the Fayette County School System.