Student lands first real-world job through new school program

Alicia Dorsey, student
Alicia Dorsey, student
Sarai Rodriguez, Recruiter, Etech
Sarai Rodriguez, Recruiter, Etech
Alana Culpepper, Human Resources Generalist for Etech
Alana Culpepper, Human Resources Generalist for Etech

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's rare for a 16-year-old high school student to take initiative in applying for a job, but thanks to a new career success program designed by the Junior Achievement of Angelina County and hosted by the global services company Etech and Lufkin High School, Alicia Dorsey is now rocking her newly learned skills in her new real world job.

Dorsey may seem quite shy at first meeting, but it's her initiative and integrity that has helped land her a job with Etech during her junior year of high school.

"The skills that they were looking for fit me like how to talk to people, interact with people and things like that," Dorsey said.

All the things needed to score big in the adult working world.

Junior Achievement Executive Director Michelle Green says the Career Success program is great for students because it gives them the tools and skills required to earn and keep a job in high growth career industries.

"Etech employees were able to help the students realize first-hand that 21st century skills are needed in today's workforce," Green said. "By presenting the program at Lufkin High School, Etech opened up the local job opportunities. Clearly this was a positive experience for all involved—the students, the teacher, Etech and its volunteers and Junior Achievement."

And Jennifer Cumbie, a fashion design and education in training teacher at Lufkin High School, says it's great.

"It's very rewarding to see these kids take the skills that Junior Achievement provides and actually take them and actually put them to use," said Cumbie.

Like the four C's, which are creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

"The kids are eager to learn it and just to be able to make a difference in their lives is the tool we need and what we want to do," said Alana Culpepper, the Human Resources Generalist for Etech.

Culpepper and Sarai Rodriguez have been teaching the course for the past seven weeks and say they love the fact that Dorsey is taking the skills she learned in the classroom to the workforce.

"We just really push for them to strive and get that ambition to keep going and keep growing and to get all the skills and expertise that they can," Rodriguez said.

"She's using her valuable skills and team playing and being a team worker, which we did that in class. We did a whole project on doing team work and team building," Culpepper said.

Dorsey is just working part-time as a sales agent right now, but there is a promise she could move up to full time or even get promoted once she graduates and the best part of the job for her?

"Making sure that they get the best quality of what they are looking for and making a remarkable difference not only in my life, but also in my community," Dorsey said.

It's a difference that hopefully will inspire other students.

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