HISD's new programs focus students' on future careers

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The Houston school district is offering new programs to help students get a leg up on the competition, regardless if they go to college (KTRK)

HISD announced a new partnership Wednesday aimed at getting more children prepared for their future career.

That new partnership is with Walgreens.

Students at Jane Long Academy for Pharmacy Technology who are interested in going into the medical field have the chance to get hands-on experience while still in high school. It could eventually lead to a career with the drug giant.

"I want to be an orthopedic surgeon," says sophomore Benedict Musimisa.

"I want to be a cardiovascular surgeon," sophomore Kenneth Victor says.

Victor and Musimisa both plan to take advantage of the internships, job shadowing and mentoring that comes with the new partnership with Walgreens.

"Beyond that, once they graduate, have the opportunity to come work for Walgreens whether it's pharmacy technicians," says Walgreens Market Pharmacy Director Roy Armstrong. "Some of them we would expect will continue on to pharmacy school and become pharmacists."

"It will give me knowledge about medicine that I'll have to prescribe to my patients and people I've done surgery on," Kenneth Victor says.

HISD Chief of Major Projects Don Hare says this is the latest example of how the district focuses on giving students a head start on their career, whether they choose college or a different path. Another example, he says, is welding.

"I think we graduated about 18 kids this summer from a welding program at one of our high schools," Hare tells us. "And they all entered the job market between $30,000 and $50,000."

Nearly every high school in the district has career readiness classes ranging from Engineering to Human Resources to Retail Management. And there are the specialty schools like the Energy Institute High School, the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, and the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

"The key to it is making sure they're ready for college or ready to enter the job market," Hare says.

The district hinted at another partnership that's in the works involving students who want to pursue a career in culinary arts. They say an announcement could come in the next six weeks.
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