CAPABLE: Beyond the classroom

A.H.S. students offered internships through county-wide program.

Capable, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as having the ability, fitness, or quality necessary to do or achieve a specified thing.

In Custer County, CAPABLE (Custer Alliance for Preparing and Advocating for Business Labor and Education) is defined as developing future focused youth, by creating meaningful relationships through education and area industry, with the desired outcome that the youth will continue to grow Custer County and become its future leaders.

CAPABLE for the Arnold High School senior class means having the opportunity to explore different careers and job experiences that are available locally, while still attending high school.

The CAPABLE program has been in existence for five years. Its vision is to invest in the youth of Custer County and expose them to the many different careers and opportunities that exist in Custer County. It helps schools and businesses create a connection. While studying the Custer County High School students, the CAPABLE board noticed a changing trend in the students, where the students could see themselves returning to Custer County after they completed college. The board decided to create a situation where the high school student would be educated on the different careers and vocations available in Custer County and builds relationships with people in that industry through mentorship.

All six schools in Custer County participate in CAPABLE.

“There was a lot of collaboration between all of the schools,” said Executive Director Jenny Fox. “That was so important in creating a successful program.” Approximately 15 percent of Custer County seniors are currently participating in the program this year, however, 70 percent of the seniors at Arnold High School are taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity, thanks to the encouragement and support of their guidance counselor, Ashley Nansel. CAPABLE is offered to senior and junior students, if their schedule allows.

Automotive, medical, education, technology, exercise physiology, and agriculture are just some of the areas that are offered for internships. Law enforcement is offered only as a job shadow situation, for the safety of the student. The goal of these internships is to create unique experiences for the kids and to create a strong understanding of a field before they get to college. It expands their network of people for future contacts and possible job opportunities.

Jenny Fox works diligently to identify a students passion and connect them with the correct mentor. She strives to create a unique experience for the kids. One of her goals is to identify the correct career path for the student before they get to college with the hope of saving time and money and ultimately with the hope that the student will return to Custer County.

Jenny stated,” I want to strongly thank the businesses that are participating in this program. I really appreciate them sponsoring students and investing in the youth of Custer County.”

In future issues of The Arnold Sentinel we will be introducing you to the Arnold High School students and sharing their unique experiences while participating in the Custer County CAPABLE program.

Article By: Diana Coleman

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