Life after graduation

Janelle McDowell, Reporter


“Any BACC class is super helpful,” senior Jessica Baker said. “Don’t be scared being on a different schedule.”

Seniors Jessica Baker, Benjamin Guttschow, Jasmyne Lawrence, and Nathaniel McKinney take classes at the Bloomington Area Career Center (BACC). These classes play a huge role in each of their career paths.

“I swore in three weeks ago to the Army,” McKinney said. “I’d been going through the process and evaluating my options for the past four months.”

McKinney is enrolled in EMT Basic at BACC. He wanted to be introduced to the medical aspect of the workforce before fully committing to be a combat medic. Guttschow, also enrolled in this class, has plans similar to McKinney.

“I’m enlisted in the Marine Corps, and I’m leaving for boot camp September 4,” Guttschow said.

Guttschow was happy to learn skills like backboarding and CPR in his class. Although the Marines will teach him these skills, Guttschow wanted to get a headstart. But he isn’t the only senior preparing for his future.

“To get into a physician’s assistant school, you have to get 2000 clinical hours,” Baker said.

While covering every subject of the certified nursing assistant’s (CNA) exam in class, Baker has high hopes for passing. She hopes to work as a CNA over the summer and earn all of her clinical hours. Once achieving her goal of being a physician’s assistant, Baker hopes to provide aid in third-world countries.

“The idea came to me while I was in Haiti last spring break,” Baker said. “There was a doctor that was building a clinic to help others, and I thought that was super cool.”

Just like Baker, Lawrence hopes to travel overseas and open up clinics. Lawrence is also enrolled in the CNA class offered at BACC. When asked why she chose this path she responded comically.

“Realistically, my mom told me that I needed to pick a career that has money in it,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence aspires to become a neonatal nurse and started off in that direction because of money. But she had a change of heart. She got over her hatred for scrubs and started to fall in love with the nursing home. This opportunity arises on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is when the CNA class travels to Westminster Village and takes care of the residents there.

“At first when they told us the stuff we had to do, I was not looking forward to it,” Lawrence said. “But now it doesn’t bother me.”

An advantage of taking a BACC class that Lawrence mentioned is the mock interviews. This is when the BACC program partners with State Farm and conducts interviews with adults from all types of professions. These interviews are graded and are very professional.

“It’s cool to get that opportunity to practice interviewing with real bosses,” Lawrence said. “Not everyone gets that practice before the real thing.”

Overall, the students involved in BACC take advantage of every opportunity they have. Their careers may take them to different places, but ultimately they all had the same goal.

“My ultimate goal is just to retire a happy man,” Guttschow said.