Not only are Warren County High School students learning reading, writing and arithmetic, but they also are learning how their education opens options for their future.
Hope and Pride Career Week was held recently at both the middle and high schools with guest speakers and activities representing a variety of careers and occupations. Although they've had career days or events in the past, this was the first time to have a week-long event, culminating with a full schedule of speakers on Friday.
"It was very successful," WCHS counselor George Lee said. "We had great speakers, and they were all impressed with our school and with the kids. They really latched onto the kids, saw something in them, and many of them expressed an interest in returning to work with the kids some more."
Speakers on Friday included Corporate lawyer Kedrick Eily, Turner Broadcasting System's Larry Gordon, Navy Petty Officer Jesse Cobb, Warrenton Health and Rehab nurse Jackie Lowe-Johnson, Technology Information Systems' Reginald Baldwin, Warren County Probate Judge Janice Thigpen and Mortician Alexander Ingram.
The Warrenton Police Department and Warren County Sheriff's Department set up a booth in the hallway so that students could stop and talk to representatives Chief Jim McClain, Officer Patricia Kendrick-Walker, Deputy Sammy Purvis and Ret. Sgt. William Walker.
"I learned there are all kinds of jobs out there for everybody," freshman Demarcus Shurley said. "I didn't know about the recording and organizing kind of jobs (from Turner Broadcasting). And I didn't know there were jobs that could pay so much."
In preparation for Friday's speakers, the students participated in daily themes throughout the week, including college day on Monday, when they wore their favorite college's paraphernalia, tacky day on Tuesday, when they wore how not to dress for a professional career interview, professional day on Wednesday, when they dressed appropriately for a professional career interview, school spirit day on Thursday, when they wore WCHS colors and career day on Friday, when they dressed for the career of their choice.
"It was cool to dress up," freshman Ed'Ricus Williams said.
Ed'Ricus said he learned new things, but he already knew what his plans after graduation are - go to college and major in psychology and counseling. He said he is interested in that because it is what his mother does. Because it's his first year in high school, the route he'll take to get there is still in the planning stage. But the WCHS basketball and football player definitely wants to go to college.
"I'd like to go to (University of) Georgia," he said. "Or any other college with good athletics and academics."
Next year, Warren County will be a Charter School System with a Career Academy, which will increase the number of both academic and vocational classes available for the students.