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High schoolers can prep now for in-demand careers

Lydia Clark loves watching home fix-up shows on the Home and Garden TV (HGTV). She dreams of someday restoring old homes. This interest led her to pursue the Construction pathway at The Career Academy (TCA) while she was in high school. While she took her high school graduation requirements at Pius X High School in the morning, she spent her afternoons at TCA on Southeast Community College’s campus at 88th & O, gaining knowledge and college credits.

She is continuing at SCC, pursuing her 2nd degree in Electrical.  She completed her Associate Applied Science degree in Construction and wants to also be able to understand electrical processes when it comes home construction and renovation. Her goal now is to start pursuing her dream of renovating homes once she completes her 2nd degree.

The Career Academy programs help ensure access to training and support for skilled in-demand jobs, the goal of Prosper Lincoln’s Employment Skills focus area.

The Career Academy is a joint venture between Lincoln Public Schools and Southeast Community College. The goal of TCA is to provide academic and real-world experiences to high school juniors and seniors through high school and dual credit courses. Students have 16 different career pathways.

Grant Schmidt, a recent graduate of Southwest Highschool is currently working two internships in Information Technology (IT), one at Cornhusker Bank and one at Lincoln Electric System.  He hopes to continue working part-time as he takes more classes at Southeast Community College in the fall. 

Spots are limited for the upcoming school year but still available for incoming Juniors and Seniors in some pathways including Welding, Construction, Early Childhood, Information Technology (networking/programming), Ag/Bioscience, Business and Culinary.

According to Dr. Dan Hohensee, Director of The Career Academy, many TCA graduates continue their education while others begin working full time right away. Either way, students are likely to find internships and summer employment in their preferred career path.

Students attend TCA for two hours a day during the regular school year while taking their remaining courses back at their home high school. Transportation in the LPS district is provided, books are free, and tuition is free through scholarships or paid at a 50% discount to the regular SCC credit hour charge.

Expert instructors at TCA stretch the students while over 150 professionals in business and industry provide real world connections. These 150+ professionals serve on pathway support teams that advise, mentor, judge, provide field trips, and often offer internships for students at TCA.

The Career Academy encourages current sophomores to apply. Additional pathways currently full but will take application next year include: engineering, K-12 education, health sciences, precision machining and criminal justice.

The academic and real world experiences provided through the instructors and pathway support members can transform the life of a student.

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI