Center Grove INSPIRE Program

Jennifer Casselman, who teaches the Inspire Program class at Center Grove, says the class is offered for juniors and seniors in the life skills department.

“They work on different career modules. We’ve got food service, general office assistant, retail stock, and caregiving. They work on different English and math skills related to those careers,” Casselman said.

This is the second year the inspire program has been offered and Casselman explains how it began.

“It started with a grant though the conjunction of special services of Johnson County and we got quite a bit of money to purchase the curriculum and revamp the life skills course offerings because of that grant. The grant also helped pay for a vocational program at Franklin College,” Casselman said.

There are typically about eight to twelve students in a class. The English class, where they work on specific career modules, meets everyday in the afternoon. The math class assembles every other day in the afternoon.

Outside of school, the Inspire Program students visit nursing homes and other places in order to gain first hand experience.

“In the past, we have gone to restaurants to observe people waiting on customers and how they do customer service. We have also visited retail stores,” Kay Fugate, one of the teachers that work with the children, said. “They learned about customer service and taking care of customers and how to be a cashier and so on and so forth so they do a lot of hands on things outside of school.”

Senior Ali Callahan is one of the Inspire Program students and next year she hopes to be attending Franklin College.

“I am thinking about maybe taking a music class or maybe like a P.E. class,” Callahan said. “In the future I maybe want to work at summer camp or be an assistant director and work in an office.”

There are many types of jobs in the world, and through the inspire program many doors are opened for students as they pursue their future careers.

AP Art Students

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Senior Brittanie Baird first realized she had art talent in the third grade.

“I’ve been drawing forever, like since I could pick up crayons and whatnot,” Baird said. “I won an art award and I got to go downtown and see these really cool pieces up on these walls. It was really fancy and they had those Smucker sandwiches with those little things through them for kids and it felt really good and right because my stuff was up there too and I was like ‘hey I could do this.'”

However senior Nicole Massy discovered her talent the summer of freshman year.

“I started drawing horses because I ride horses and I wanted to draw my horse,” Massy said. “It was pretty good and so then everyone at my barn started asking me to draw my horse and I became the human xerox machine. But I made a good amount of money from it.”

Inspiration can come from many places for an artists and no two inspirations are the same.

“I feel like if you want to be an artist you have to have not an interesting life but you have to have interesting friends, and I have some pretty interesting friends so that kinda plays into what I do with my concentration on teenagers and stuff,” Massy said.

For Baird, her inspiration comes not from the people around her but from things she watches.

“I’m really inspired by films and I plan to use art as a job,” Baird said. “It’s what I’m going into. I’m going to do it for the rest of my life and I’m going to make character concepts and designs for movies and places such as Pixar or Dreamworks.”

Baird graduated mid-semester this year and is taking the spring to focus on her art before college.

“I plan to go to RingLing College of Art and Design and study illustration and storyboarding so that I can work at a film company,” Baird said.

Likewise Massy hopes to attend one of the top art schools in the country for college and graduate with an illustration degree.