School-business partnership is helping this student kick-start his engineering career

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As a part of a partnership between Spaulding High School in Rochester and Great Bay Community College, students can earn a certificate in advanced manufacturing while earning credit for their high school diplomas.

The program goes beyond courses at the high school and community college, and includes a two-semester internship at Safran Aerospace Composites and a guaranteed interview at Safran.

The program is accepting 13 students this year, including Mike Lovely, a Spaulding senior. He says the program will give him more opportunities, but it’s also very personal. From Seacoast Online:

Rochester Senior Mike Lovely was one of the students who expressed gratitude Tuesday, as the program will help him more quickly, leave him completely free of student debt and kick-start his desired career in engineering or reverse engineering. Lovely could have graduated as a junior this past June, but he’s staying for another year specifically to enter the program as well as to play his senior year on Spaulding’s football team.

“I’m stoked,” said Lovely, a middle linebacker poised to be one of the first in his family to get a degree. “It’s going to make it so much easier.”

It’s not necessarily somewhere the determined Lovely thought he’d be by 16, but it’s a path he hoped for. Lovely was homeless and living under bridges in Dover between the ages of 7 and 11, after which he spent time in foster care. During that journey, Lovely said he’s dealt with a variety of stigmas and low expectations from the community, both due to his homelessness and because his biological parents have substance use disorders.

“It was an eye-opener for me,” said Lovely, who lives with a guardian. “I want to surprise the people who don’t think I can do it. A lot of people think I’m going to go downhill, like my parents… This is going to be amazing.”

The program is part of Spaulding High School’s Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) program. Districts around the state are offering ELOs to expand options to deeply explore fields of study and career paths that students are passionate about, including those that may not be available through their school curriculum, and may even provide an alternative pathway to fulfilling graduation requirements.

Learn more about ELOs in New Hampshire:

Source: Rochester students ready to change N.H. education | Foster’s Daily Democrat