School district's leadership program helps students consider different careers

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - The Twin Falls School District has a leadership program called "Your VISA to Success" for high school students, helping them consider career options.

Mike Gemar, the director of support services for the school district, said VISA stands for visions, inspire, success and achieve.

"What we did is looked at trying to involve some kids from all three high schools that might need a little extra motivation," he continued. "There are other leadership programs, but we wanted something unique with these kids."

Once a month, junior and senior students from Twin Falls, Canyon Ridge and Magic Valley high schools will meet up to do some team building and then go onto a community activity.

"The January event, we actually had a team building event in the morning and we went to the ropes course at CSI, did some team building, and then in the afternoon we took them to the Twin Falls Police Department, and they talked about all the different careers and opportunities that are available to students," he said.

Gemar said the program is voluntary, but the counselors of the schools give recommendations.

"They kind of give us ideas of students that might possibly be interested, or that might fit the bill for this program," he explained.

The school district said they try to tailor the community activities to the students.

"We actually have the kids do an interest inventory survey, and based on the results we get from that, then what we try to do is hook up with community partners, businesses with the community, businesses leaders that are in the careers that the kids are showing interest in," Gemar said.

For example, some students showed interest in arts, communication and marketing, so next month, the students will be taking a trip to KMVT along with the Orpheum Theatre.

Gemar said this is the second year in a row the program has been running and the first three years have been funded by the Blue Lakes Rotary Club.

"They're excited about an opportunity to help make things better for our students," he said.

Gemar said the students seem to be excited, even if they are a little shy at first.

"We're blending these students together and they're not with their normal peers, and so there's kind of that team building, and once we get that in place, it's amazing to watch the kids interact with each other," Gemar said.

The program normally meets once a month, starting the school day out with a team building session and then onto the community activity to see career options.

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