Feature Story                                                                                                  Sunday May 15, 2011


Rick Goosen was keynote speaker at the Secondary School Apprenticeship Awards presentation last Thursday at Chilliwack Sr. Sec.


Experience Is The Best Teacher

Over 80 students graduate from the Secondary School Apprenticeship Program

Craig Hill/Voice photos


or most of us, going through high school meant studying academic subjects like math and science and when we got through grade 12, we were turned out with little or no hands-on experience in the occupational trades. It was assumed that we'd get that experience directly on the job. It's all different now. Students these days are presented with career choices while in school not after they leave it.


The BC government has a program called ACEIT (Accelerated Credit Enrolment in Industry Training) that lets students start their apprenticeships while still in high school, and earn credits toward their graduation before joining the real world.

On Thursday, 80 students were presented with certificates from the Secondary School Apprenticeship Training Program (SSA) at Chilliwack Secondary School. Approximately 600 people attended the awards ceremony and enjoyed a meal prepared by cook apprentices in the CSS Culinary program.

Emcee Galen Soon, who is also AD Rundle School Vice Principal, told The Voice for students, the opportunity is theirs for the taking.

"It's a great chance for them to earn and learn at the same time. Many of these kids are going to be ahead of their counterparts who haven't started yet and they've got a foot into the market," explained Soon. "There's a lot of neat stuff going on, kids showing what they've learned and putting their trades to work."

"It's a very good representation of what our district's trying to do in terms of branching out and preparing all our students for opportunities beyond graduation."

Keynote speaker and author, Rick Goosen, who is also Senior Relationship Manager and Client Planning Strategist with Covenant Group, a financial advisory group gave a rousing speech highlighting the importance of entrepreneurs.

Clara Hooper, owner of Buny's & Bugs and Stan VanderWaal from Rainbow Greenhouses were also guest speakers.

Colin Mitchell, SSA Coordinator drew names for the dozens of gift cards that were handed out to students and he closed the evening with a draw for an IPOD.

Performance Honda donated a 2000 Civic which will be raffled-off June 7. The lobby and gymnasium were decked out with different types of vehicles from ATVs to motorcycles. Proceeds from the vehicle draw are earmarked for bursaries and scholarships.

For more information or to purchase tickets on the draw contact the school at 604-795-7295.

See more photos below.

Copyright (c) 2011 The Valley Voice

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