Program helps students with career goals

Dr. Hajek
Dr. Hajek
Britavian Hightower
Britavian Hightower
Travis Gainer
Travis Gainer

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Several community organizations have come together to help Dougherty County students get a head start on their career goals.

Travis Gainer has wanted to help people through Physical Therapy for as long as he can remember.

"When I was little, I would help out my momma. She would cramp up and have her cramps and she was hurting at work . So, I would just help her out," said Gainer, Westover High Graduate.

He carried that dream through high school. That's where a recruiter for the Dougherty County School System's High School High Tech program approached him to offer a hands-on opportunity. 

"They have alternate learning styles. The program is designed to help these students graduate at the rate of their peers and to help them get jobs and get to college," said Alexis Smith, High School High Tech Program Manager.

Each high school student gets a month-long, paid internship through the Work Force Investment Act. 

"I help out the patients, see how to make them feel better and take care of them," said Gainer.

"I've learned to take images, order images of patients," said Britavian Hightower, Westover High Graduate. "I've learned to escort patients to clinical rooms to the exam rooms and I've learned to kind of get a feel of what I'll be doing in college." 

They also become eligible for a post-secondary scholarship ranging from 250 to 4-thousand dollars. That money is donated by area businesses, like MSA, in collaboration with the Albany ARC.

In addition to his scholarship donation, MSA Medical Director Dr. Phillip Hajek is also providing summer internships for Gainer and Britavian Hightower who plans to study Radiology at Darton State College this fall. Gainer plans on going to Albany Tech for Physical Therapy. 

"It's kids with different learning styles and that's just one thing at our organization is that we really try to take people and let them become what they can become," said Phillip Hajek, MSA Medical Director.

Organizers say several students have even come out of the program with a job, but all of them get the chance at a brighter future. 

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