Hiring Hoosiers: Mt. Vernon program allows students real-world work experience during school

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Mt. Vernon High School .png
Posted at 6:59 AM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 08:59:28-05

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FORTVILLE — A program at Mt. Vernon High School has been getting students' classroom-to-career-ready for more than 20 years.

Between balancing school, sports, extracurriculars, and social life, a lot of high school students can't find the time to have a job and gain vital real-world experiences. The work program at Mt. Vernon helps students do just that.

"I'm the community relations intern for the community relations director for mt. Vernon," Madison King is a senior at Mt. Vernon High School.

"I promote things for the school so certain events, I type articles for the school website, create flyers and graphics and things like that," said King.

She's currently in the interdisciplinary cooperative education program, meaning she only goes to school for half the day, and during the other half, she's working.

"I do after school sports and extracurriculars, so this is really helpful being able to come in in the morning get my work done and go to school," said King.

King said she was already interested in marketing as a career path post-college.

"So, I was looking into it, looking into graphic design, and then this internship came up, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in marketing before I just blindly choose a major," said King.

Coordinator Karen Cochran said knowing what you want to do post-high school isn't the case for everyone, and the focus for those students is to help them gain the soft skills they don't always learn in the classroom.

"A lot of students don't think that they learn something from coming into this program they think oh it's just a job I'll never use this later on well what they don't realize is they learn to show up on time, take responsibility, clock in, clock out, listen to directions, ask for help and take initiative," said Cochran.

"This was my first real experience getting interviewed and setting up meetings it was nerve-wracking, but it was awesome it was just a great experience," said King.

King said she recommends the program to any senior who can take it.

"I think its really important to get that work experience before you go to college and it's helping me a lot, and it's helping me realize that this is something that I actually want to do in my future, so I just think it's a great opportunity," said King.

Cochran said as the community here in Hancock County continues to grow, so does the program and the opportunities for students.

They are always looking to partner with other businesses in the area. If you think you have an excellent opportunity for students to email Karen Cochran at

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