100 Years, 100 Stories
Video: Henry Londre is busy. While in High School, the 18 year old is also taking college classes and working.
“I have college classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It’s duel credit college courses and the classes I’m taking count both for my associate’s degree and my high school diploma. I’m getting both of those knocked out at the same time, which is just phenomenal. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I go into work, working hands-on with the theoretical knowledge learned in the high school and college technology classes” said Londre.
He is able to do all this through the Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership between Metropolitan Community College, the Lee’s Summit R-7 school district, University of Central Missouri and a number of business partners. The high school students can earn an Associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree just two years later, plus they can apply experience through paid internships. Right now the academic programs at the Missouri Innovation Campus focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Oh, yeah, all the kids my age and adults I’ve talked to are all just astounded that we can do this, that we can manage such a heavy work load and get so much out of it, and yet supply so much to employers and schools. I think eye-opening is a pretty great way to describe it. You are getting an advanced look at your career and what you want to do with your life,” explained Londre.
He chose to focus on the systems engineering technology route and landed an internship with DST Systems, Inc. The company is a global provider of technology-based service solutions that helps businesses process, communicate and safeguard critical customer information.
Rick Otis, DST VP of Operations explained, “ To have experience on your resume in information technology, or any other field, particularly this kind of experience and working in a shop like this is powerful. “
“It’s important that the educators and the business community come together and form curriculum that generates the output and equips students with the skills they need to be high functioning in business today. Without that connection between business and education, neither one is going to win, ” said Otis.
He said it has been a great experience to watch the students interact with the employees.
“It’s been refreshing to see the level of capability, responsibility and energy that some of these young people are bringing to the workplace. It’s really infectious to have those folks in the environment. It just brings new energy, new excitement to the co-workers and to the people. They say, “Wow, you know, the next generations got it going on and a there’s a bright future” explained Otis.
And the students benefiting from the program agreed.
“Learning the theoretical knowledge about the technology but also working hands on with it, with other people, really getting a community of people working with the technology and learning together and helping each other out, it’s just remarkable.
Londre has already earned his high school diploma and his Associate of Applied Science from MCC. Now he is a junior at the University of Central Missouri and will earn his Bachelor’s degree before he turns 20. He says he might be applying for a job at DST, Systems, Inc. down the road so stay tuned.