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Students showcase career skills
Meleina Davis
Liberty County High School senior Meleina Davis demonstrates how to dust for fingerprints on a cup and other items as part of the Liberty College and Career Academys Night of Excellence. Davis is taking criminal justice classes at the Career Academy. - photo by Tiffany King

Students of the Liberty College and Career Academy showed what made them career and college ready at the LCCA Night of Excellence.

Community members visited the LCCA campus May 10 and watched as students demonstrated their skills and knowledge in engineering, construction, culinary arts, teaching, nursing, nutrition, criminal justice and graphic arts.

Many students are earning college credit through the dual enrollment program at the Career Academy and are on the path to becoming certified in different careers.

Culinary students greeted visitors in their chef attire providing cupcakes, punch and other foods.

Criminal justice students showed how to measure the limbs of a dead body and blood splatter at a crime scene.

Bradwell Institute junior Daphnie McBryde, demonstrated how to collect trace evidence while BI graduate Nathan Wallace used a blacklight to uncover hidden evidence.  

Liberty County High School senior Breanna Knott said the forensic class was really fun.

Knott took an online forensic justice class from the University of Alabama and switched to the Career Academy because she wanted more hands-on training.

Instructor Jonathan McDavid hopes the program will continue to grow and said the academy is working towards allowing students to earn an associate’s degree through the program.

Nursing students took the oxygen level and pulse readings of visitors and demonstrated how to administer chest compressions in an emergency.

Three students Deja Curry, LCHS graduate, Dionne Jenkins, LCHS graduate, and Shanice Dixon, senior, will take the certified nursing assistant written and skills test because of the skills they learned at the Career Academy.

Curry wants to become and OBGYN. She is getting her CNA because she thinks it’s “a great foundation” in the medical field and wants to work her way towards becoming a doctor.

Jenkins wants to become a speech pathologist to make an impact in people’s lives and Dixon wants to become a pediatric nurse. Dixon likes to work with children and her mother works at a nursing home.

In the engineering class students learned about parallel circuits and made wooden step ladders which also serves as a stool.

Welding at the academy is part of the dual enrollment program with Savannah Technical Institute. Instructor John Trimmer said Savannah Tech has partnerships with outside manufacturing companies and if he sees a student that excels he will recommend students for jobs.

Trimmer said students must have a commitment and passion for a career in welding.

Students take standard welding classes and once they get to a certain class level, Trimmer will teach specialized skills based on what a student wants to do.

Student projects have included making grills and patch panels on trucks.

If a student is interested in construction they can leave the Career Academy as a certified construction worker. They learn how to read blueprints, learn site layout, wall framing and more.

At Night of Excellence students were putting together stairs and cutting wooden panels for the steps.

Visitors were treated to smoothies, celery and peanut butter and made non-Newtonian fluid in the nutrition classroom. Non-Newtonian fluid, made with starch and water, acts as both a liquid and solid when pressure is applied.

There were also egg experiments on display, such as a hardboiled egg left in a cup of vinegar to see the effect. It showed the shell completely dissolved with the yoke and a thin film around the yoke still intact.

In the graphic arts class, students made printed T-shirts, did design work on computers and cut stickers they made with the LCCA logo.

Students in the teaching as a profession pathway discussed why they want to be a teacher and what makes for an effective teacher.

Karisa Young, LCCA CEO, was very proud of the things going on at LCCA.

“We’re still surprised at how many people don’t know what LCCA does and the opportunities we have here,” Young said, “We opened it up to the community and families and invited eighth and ninth graders to see what’s available for them when they get to high school.”

The goal of LCCA is to learn the skills need to get a job, do a job and keep a job, Young said.

LCCA focuses on developing hands-on skills, helping students earn college credit, certification in certain fields and preparing students for college and careers.

Young is looking forward to adding animation, gaming and photography pathways to the Career Academy.

Young received an audio, technology, film grant for $30,000 from the Education Sports Entertainment Network. The grant will be used for audio and video equipment, training and support for the pathway.

Young hopes to partner with the Georgia Film Academy.

“We’re growing and expanding by getting new opportunities for the kids.”

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