COLORADO SPRINGS — One local high school is giving students a new opportunity, not only to give back to their community, but to start a career before they even graduate.
Out of all the subjects in school, Liberty High School junior Jovan Baker has a clear-cut favorite.
“I like building walls,” Baker said.
It’s something Liberty High School senior Elijah Barker has had his eye on too.
“Ever since I was a little kid… and you see construction workers… I was like… I kinda want to do that,” Barker said.
For Liberty High School junior Hailey Baratti enrolling in the careers in construction class also just made sense.
“I’ve been doing this since sixth grade,” Barrati said. “I am a very artsy kid, so I kind of see this as another branch into art.”
The class offers students hands-on experience in the construction trade.
“In this class it’s like, you want to work on stairs? Go do that,” she said. “You want to work on walls? Go do that.”
The program has been around for over a year--added as part of a Career and Technology Education expansion funded by District 20’s 2016 bond measure.
But on Wednesday, it was another beginning worth celebrating all over again.
“The big thing that we’re doing is outside… the house,” Baker said.
These high schoolers are taking on a big job.
“We’re building a house, and it’s just to help our skills,” Barker said.
When it’s completed in a year or so, it’ll be picked up off the concrete blocks it’s being built on in the school’s parking lot and given to a deserving family.
After that, students will start all over again building another house.
But it’s so much more.
“I want a job here in this industry,” Baker said. “I want to be the guy building the house.”
Students will leave the class not only having built a house, but with all the certifications they need to start a career.
“Hopefully I’m gonna get a job in the trades with a construction company,” Barker said.
And in this market, there’ll be plenty of work where that came from.
“I think of just like all the different possibilities of places I can go after this,” Barker said.
Liberty High School is the fourth high school in the Colorado Springs area to take part in the house-building program under the Careers in Construction Colorado organization.