C9 student pursues a career in fire fighting

Margaret Eley | Staff Writer

Junior C9 student Jamie Jackomis always wanted to be a paramedic, but a visit to Fire Station 13 in Downtown Indianapolis changed her mind.

“Since I was only fifteen I wasn’t allowed to job shadow a paramedic, so I thought going to a fire station would be as close as I could get,” Jackomis said.  “After going [to the fire station] I decided I wanted to become a firefighter. I had an experience there I will never forget.”

This experience for her was a turning point in deciding her future career.

“All of the firefighters were really close. It was like a brotherhood, and that’s something I really want,” Jackomis said. “After going on runs with all of them I realized how cool it would be to be a part of that.”

During her sophomore year, Jackomis went on a tour of Central Nine to look into their firefighter department. She fell in love and now attends C9 throughout the week to train for her dream job.

“For fire safety at C9, we do powerpoints or physical training,” Jackomis said. “We do a lot of bunker drills which is when we put on all the gear and do drills, we are always training for the worst.”

Since firefighting is a male dominant field, Jackomis works hard to prove to her classmates that she belongs there.

“I may be one of the only girls in the firefighter program at C9, but I dominate the boys,” Jackomis said. “I sometimes feel like people assume that since I am a girl I am weaker, but since I’ve always played sports I have no problem keeping up with the strength training.”

C9 has allowed Jackomis to become more advanced in her field and gain the certifications she needs before graduation. She is going to be ahead of other students who want to become firefighters that didn’t do C9.

“When I graduate I will already be certified in Fire Fighting One, Two, and EMS [Emergency Medical Service],” Jackomis said.

Once Jackomis graduates, she still plans to attend college to get a higher education to climb the rankings at the fire stations.  

“Even though I’ll already be certified I’m still going to continue my education,” Jackomis said. “I plan on getting a degree in fire science, I think by doing this it will help me stand out.”

CG’s Community Service

By: Madey Jacks

While winter sports are wrapping up and spring sports are preparing for the season ahead, school clubs are set on helping the community this semester. Center Grove has many clubs aimed toward serving others locally and globally. These clubs offer a variety of community service opportunities.

Riley Club: Dance Marathon

Riley Club is gearing up for Center Grove High School’s Riley Dance Marathon on April 29. The event challenges attendees to “stand for those who can’t” while having fun with their friends. Although it is a Dance Marathon, students do not have to dance for the entire event; the club has scheduled other activities such as dodgeball, making crafts for Riley Kids and indulging in the snack bar. While the event focuses on having fun with other participants, the Dance Marathon benefits the Child Life Department at Riley Hospital for Children.

“Students should go to [the Riley Dance Marathon] because you get to help sick kids and you’ll be part of making miracles FTK (For The Kids),” Riley Club President Sneha Dave said. “Dance Marathon is fun because you get to meet really awesome Riley Kids who have overcome so much. It’s a celebration of all the miracles that happen at Riley!”

While Riley Club will maintain the same framework for the Dance Marathon, they’re planning a few surprises for participants. The club is in the works of getting a Colts or Pacers player to attend the Dance Marathon and meet with Center Grove students.

Student Government: Community Service Committee

The Community Service Committee facilitates several charitable events each semester. In March, the committee will be selling lemonade to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand. On May 13, students can attend the Center Grove Film Festival and enjoy a movie while contributing to Riley Hospital for Children. Community Service is hoping to provide students with an exciting and competitive dodgeball tournament while raising money for charity.

Partnering Across Land and Sea (PALS): Polar Bear Shirt Sales

PALS will be selling polar bear shirts that will benefit humanitarian and environmental projects. The proceeds from shirt sales will “support human trafficking victims (Polaris Project), help save polar bears, stop global warming and raise money to provide water to people suffering from the terrible drought in Africa,” PALS president Ally Colinco said.

Even if you are not a member in PALS, your impact through PALS fundraisers is crucial, much appreciated and diverse.

“If one wants to make a difference in a place outside of Center Grove, PALS can help them. PALS allows students to donate to causes and help people in an easy and fun way,” Colinco said. “The most important piece is definitely the donor[s], who are the students of Center Grove.

Sew Fun Club: Tag Blankets

Sew Fun Club offers students the opportunity to sew tag blankets for infants in the NICU at Community Hospital South. In addition to serving families in need, students can learn valuable life skills.

“You don’t need to know how to sew. This club will teach you,” officer Abby Ogle said.

The benefits of serving through Sew Fun don’t stop there; membership has benefits for members beyond the satisfaction of serving.

“Students should participate because we mainly focus on community service projects which look excellent on college or job applications,” Ogle said. “You also meet a lot of great people who share the same interests as you.”

National Honors Society (NHS): Leadership, Academic Excellence and Service

Members of NHS serve other students through tutoring.

“If you’re in NHS, you are expected to participate in these events because service is a core pillar of NHS,” Vice President Amrit Parihar said. “Plus, it’s just nice to help others.”

NHS members are able to give back to the high school through their service; however, students receiving help from their peers are able to provide NHS members with experience and the service required from the chapter.

Although the membership window for NHS has already passed, Parihar urges eligible students (‘16-’17 juniors and seniors) to consider joining next year.

“NHS is about leadership, academic excellence and service. So, if these things catch students’ eyes, they should look into joining NHS. It’s an overall great experience.”

Project Hope: Mental Health Illnesses

Project Hope focuses on an invisible community need: mental health illnesses. Although Project Hope does not have any community service events plans, the club is still in need of passionate students.

“A big way students can pitch in when we do have a project is by coming out and supporting Project Hope with whatever event that may be,” Acting President Madison Hickman said. “Mental health illnesses [are] something that so many in the community [are] dealing with and the awareness needs to be out because you never know if someone you may know is dealing with it.”

No matter how you decide to serve in the community, look to other students who are already involved. The Center Grove community has numerous opportunities for serving, you simply have to find what best suits you.


Changes Within Central 9


Justin Hill ’16 and Mark Green ’17 walk to the buses that will take them to the C-9 facility.

 For years, Center Grove Central Nine students have operated on a morning schedule, taking classes at C-9 before coming to the high school for afternoon courses. That is until the 2015-2016 school year. In addition to all of the CG construction, C-9 students also had to adjust to afternoon classes as opposed to the morning.

  “The difference between a.m. and p.m. is we get more time when we are going to C-9,” Tristen Sexton ’16, an auto collision student at C-9, said. “We do not have to be there until 11:40. C-9 also gets out earlier than Center Grove; we get out at 2:20.”

  Many of the C-9 students enjoy the later time. They claim that it is nice to leave at 2:20 as opposed to 2:50 because they have more time in their evening. Afternoon C-9 classes also give the students more time to get there; they are even able to eat lunch at the school during STaR. Students who can drive enjoy the freedom of lunch off campus before arriving at the C-9 facility.

  Not all students enjoy the later time, though. While C-9 biology medication student Shelby Hooton ’17 said she was fortunate to have smaller classes, medical assisting student Alyce Habens ’16 said she had to adjust to much larger classes. After school sports are also an issue with the new afternoon time.

“If you have sports you have to drive back and you can’t just go home,” C-9 EMT student Maegan Trulock ’16 said. “It is just kind of a nuisance, driving back and forth.”

  For better or for worse, Center Grove Central Nine students now have classes after STaR instead of at the start of first period.

  Visit the Central Nine website for more information at: http://central9.k12.in.us

C-9 students gather outside the East Gym to wait for the buses to take them to the Central 9 facility.

C-9 students gather outside the East Gym to wait for the buses to take them to the Central 9 facility.

Animal Friends at Central 9

In this January 26, 2015 photo: Cocoa, Taylor Houpt's dog, sits on a table during the veterinary career program at C9.

In this January 26, 2015 photo: Cocoa, Taylor Houpt’s dog, sits on a table during the veterinary career program at C9.

Senior Taylor Houpt joined C9’s veterinary program with a love of animals.

“It gives you an idea of what you would be doing if you went into the career. I love working with the animals that people bring in, and I meet students from different schools,” said Houpt.

Houpt joined C9 her sophomore year and remains enrolled today. She has enjoyed her classes ever since.

“She is doing a really good job and really enjoys being at C9. I actually see her enjoying and participating in school! It is a good experience for her, since she wants to be a vet when she gets older,” said Lori Houpt, Taylor’s mother.

Houpt has been working hard and keeping her grades up in order to be prepared to enter the veterinary field, according to Lori. Houpt explained that enrollment in C9 has taught her the necessary skills to be a veterinarian and given her an idea of what to expect in the future.

“Taylor is always very nice and willing to help me whenever I need it. The class is really fun and actually got me excited about learning and also helped me decide that this is the profession I wanted to do the rest of my life,” said Houpt’s classmate Kellie Huggler.