EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp.’s latest initiative seems to have made an early impact on high school students.
Tuesday officials from EVSC and local food processing company AmeriQual along with students from RAMP — Real-World Application; Maximizing Potential — spoke about the new work-based learning program’s success since its launch in August.
The program, in partnership with EVSC’s OptIN initiative and AmeriQual, allows EVSC students 16 and older the opportunity to gain up to three manufacturing certifications — OSHA 10, MSSC Certification and Forklift — and graduate with a high school diploma.
RAMP is the first work-based learning program to be offered in the state and one of three like it in the country.
EVSC spokesman Jason Woebkenberg said the district’s establishment of RAMP has impacted students, especially those who have faced academic and financial woes in the past.
“It’s really providing hope for these students because it’s targeted at students where this can really make a difference on those who may be at risk of graduating,” Woebkenberg said.
Niobi Mitchell and Hudson Kiesel, two students from the program’s 70-student class, talked about their daily experiences working with industry experts on AmeriQual’s campus and how it feels to be among the program’s first group.
Mitchell, who was 15 at the time of her application submission, said she didn’t think she would get accepted into the program. But once the now-16-year-old began working, she has enjoyed her role and looks forward to the program’s growth after graduation.
“I want to see how big it gets,” Mitchell said, “like if they’re going to add more to the RAMP building, if more students come or if more students can work here. That’s what I expect. I know it will happen; I just want to see that.”