This week began the second session of this summer’s AT&T (attitude, training and teamwork) hosted by Challenge House, Inc.

Featuring workshops and job shadowing, this program was developed to teach young people about employment opportunities.

The two-week program, meant for ninth to twelfth graders, consists of a job exploration week followed by a week of hands-on job shadowing.

A total of seventeen students are taking part in the second session, Challenge House #4 Neighborhood Ambassador and Program Coordinator Gina Condella said.

This year marks the seventh year of the AT&T program.

Condella said the goal of the program is to teach the students how to be good employees as well as exposure to day-to-day work in their prospective career choices.

The first week is filled with local business people coming in to show and talk about what it takes to do their profession as well as how to seek higher education.

“We expose them not only to those areas they may be interested in but lots of different areas of career choices and how to get there,” Condella said. “We had a man from Hopkinsville Community College come and explain to them what the path is to getting scholarships and being able to graduate without debt at all.”

The sessions run from 1-5 p.m. July 12-15 at Challenge House #7 during the first week. Participants are required to participate in 16 job shadowing hours with local professionals the second week in order to graduate from the program.

Students who successfully complete the AT&T program will earn a $200 “paycheck” at the graduation ceremony on July 23 at Challenge House #7.

During the week, Condella says students have to follow strict guidelines regarding behavior, timeliness and participation.

“A lot of time we’ll start with more students,” Condella said.

This session started out with J. Willis Painting and Handyman Services teaching the students how to build a wall.

“He had all of the kids participate hands-on in learning to use a nail gun, how to level things and how to build a wall,” Condella said.

She added that Neil Farmer came to the program and taught the participants how to wire an outlet, light switch and install a light fixture.

“They all got to watch when the electricity came on. It was exciting,” Condella said.

The participants then learned how to mud a wall.

During this first section of this session, the participants have been able to learn and hear from National Guard and Army recruiters, estheticians, culinary artists, Carter Hendricks, Tom Bell, Hopkinsville Fire and Police Departments, Emergency Medical Services and other local professionals.

“I think it’s a time for them outside of school, to be able to be with their peers and really examine some of the things they’re thinking of doing,” Condella said. “It gives them a close up view of what those career options are going to be like if they go in that direction.”

Next week, this session’s students will be job shadowing under the police department, studying culinary arts at the country club, nursing, mechanics, law, working at the airport, Pennyroyal Arts Council, Army and Skyline Animal Hospital

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