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Career Learning Outside The Traditional Classroom

This article was written by Roger Hamer. It was published by WOWT NBC Omaha on September 23, 2015.

All parents want their kids to go to college but not all kids are a good fit. That trend can set back some at risk kids. That's where an outdoor classroom on the Boys Town campus comes into play - a throwback to a different time.

Students like Senior Jeremiah Neth are learning the trades and discovering there is a link between real-world applications and classroom teachings. “You have to know a lot of math skills…divide, multiply, add or just measure in general,” Jeremiah said.

Chuck Lambert is the instructor and project manager for this class. He's helping students make a big move into the workforce. “From here if they go get a job this is something they might do, so I'm trying to relate basic things that they might see somewhere down the road,” he said.

This is a throwback to the past where high school kids were given the chance to learn a career and find success. “If we can get them interested in some things where they can go ahead and make some money right away and be inspired by that and ultimately become good paying citizens and that's what we want them to do. This gives them a better opportunity to do that,” the Director of Home Campus Jeff Peterson said.

And when it comes down to it, college isn't for everybody. Those may not be the words parents want to hear, but everyone wants their child to have a career. Some just get there in different ways.

“If you show me how to use a tape measure, I'm like ‘Oh, that's how you use it,’ but just doing math problems all day, that just doesn't help that much - with me anyway. But when you're shown how to use something, that helps a lot more,” Neth said. The program lit that fire under Jeremiah Neth. He wants to find a job in the heating and air conditioning field after graduation.

Boys Town keeps tabs with local businesses to find the right fit for its students. That way, the class can emphasize trades that are in immediate demand in our area.