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A student voice for career tech.

When a student at Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development felt the need to speak out about career and technical education--and its students--she sent a letter to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The letter from Hallie Lane published by the newspaper and prompted Great Oaks President/CEO Dr. Robin White to say, "Hallie is obviously a very courageous young lady who speaks from her heart. We are so proud to serve her and others like her."

Techniques asked permission from Great Oaks to reprint this letter--aptly described by White as "a very powerful statement about the importance of career and technical education"--because one of the most effective voices of advocacy for our field is the voice of the student who is benefiting from career and technical education.

Dear Editor:

I am a 16-year-old Health Technology junior at Diamond Oaks C.D.C. I am a straight A student with a 95 percent attendance rate and I am proud to say that I attend a vocational school.

I'm getting tired of hearing such bad remarks towards students of Career Development Campuses. We are thought of as losers, outcasts and bad eggs. People think we couldn't "cut it" in a "real" school, so we took the "easy way out." We take it to heart every time we are looked down upon.

We are getting a head start in life. We know what we want and we're not waiting to start. We are involved in our community, whether by community service or just by lending a helping hand to a neighbor who knows we can. For example, our Health Technology Lab hosts a blood drive for the Hoxworth Blood Center twice a year. Almost everybody who can, including the students, donates. Our Junior ROTC (in which I am also involved) volunteers to help with meetings at the school, veterans' reunions and parades. The JROTC also helps with the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign.

Just like other students at "regular" schools, we attend competitions that range from local to national. We apply for scholarships. We also have various clubs that we join, such as Business Professionals of America, DECA, FCCLA, FFA and SkillsUSA-VICA.

To those who think we'll never amount to anything, we'll be the ones you come to for help. Five years from now, you'll be coming to us when you have car trouble. It'll be us that you ask when you want a room added to your house or when your house needs rewiring. It'll be us you come to for your weekly manicure. And it will be someone like me that you come to for your health needs.

Everybody has a purpose. No one is useless or worthless. Everyone needs help sometime. When that time comes, you are going to want the person with the most education and experience in the field. That person will be one of us. We are your future. Please have faith in us.
Hallie Lane
Taylor High School/Diamond Oaks
COPYRIGHT 2003 Association for Career and Technical Education
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Hallie Lane writes letter to the editor on career and technology education
Author:Lane, Hallie
Publication:Techniques
Geographic Code:1U3OH
Date:May 1, 2003
Words:496
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