Thursday Mar 15th, 2018
Donte was not able to complete high school at Coppin Academy as he had planned. “It wasn’t a good environment for me to learn in,” Donte Brown said.
“I was out of school for about two months and was referred to the Career Academy in the fall of 2016. I earned my diploma five months later. The teachers there aren’t judgmental and they stay on your case, they’re very encouraging,” Donte shared. “I also found it easier to focus because the student to teacher ratio is very low.”
The Career Academy (CA) is a partnership comprised of Baltimore City Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, Woodstock Job Corps Center, and Baltimore City Community College. Students who are overage and under-credited are able to pursue a high school degree while also receiving intensive career development services.
Donte took advantage of non-academic opportunities at the Career Academy as well. As president of the Youth Leadership Program, he helped prepare holiday events and organized several service learning projects such as feeding the homeless and ‘pennies for patients’. “I enjoyed taking a leadership role and participating in group discussions with other students and teachers,” Donte said.
Outcomes & Benefits
In May of 2017, Donte started a paid internship with a Baltimore County engineering firm as part of the Future Surveyors Program which prepares high school seniors for entry-level employment as survey technicians. The program offers one-on-one mentoring, job shadowing, and a five-week paid internship through YouthWorks. Successful graduates complete the program with real-world job skills, an industry credential, and the opportunity to be hired by the Maryland Society of Surveyors’ employers.
After the internship, Donte was hired full time by Wilson T. Ballard Company as a Rodman - “I have learned so many skills from this training, including reading blueprints and using drones and robotics and other technology,” Donte said proudly. “I’m making good money and I like the work – it’s challenging and we get to do a lot of traveling.”
“In five years, I’m going to be as successful as I can be -- established in an Industry that is all about moving up,” Donte said. “I will never run out of career opportunities. I look forward to the next advancement which is to become an Instrument Operator.”
“I was successful at the Career Academy because I came to school every day and did my work,” Donte said. “My advice is to keep your goals high, never give up, believe in your dreams and whatever the struggle – keep pushing through it. I have two uncles as well as a mentor who have all influenced and motivated me,” Donte shared.
Donte likes the quote from Will Rogers, “Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”