LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – ThINC Academy held their Expeditions Signing Day on Tuesday; the event recognizes students that will be completing paid internships with different companies over the summer. There were several employers like Duracell and KIA Motors, high school students and parents in attendance to celebrate the students officially signing their work documents. 

Bill Stump, the Chairman of the Board at ThINC Academy, said the academy currently has several hundred students enrolled in the program. He said students attending ThINC Academy are held to a higher standard and are expected to develop skills like being on time, having their work completed and participating in the classes. 

“The largest thing the children get is hands-on experience and the great thing about the employers that have chosen to bring on students is that they don’t just let them watch, they are actually hands-on experience,” said Stump.

Stump said the expedition program gives students the opportunity to explore different career paths before graduating high school and allows them to decide what they’re passionate about. The program has been going on for about six years and has placed students in all kinds of career paths. 

Students from all three high schools in Troup County can attend ThINC Academy and are given credit that counts toward their grade point average at their school. The students can attend either morning or afternoon sessions and transportation is provided from their schools. 

Bethany Cullwell is a junior at Troup County Comprehensive High School and is completing her third year with ThINC Academy. She hopes to be a registered nurse following graduation and will be interning with Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center this summer. 

“I’m just going to be learning about the medical field and I’m going to be working under nurses to figure out if that’s really what I want to do.Through ThINC Academy they help us try to figure out what we want to do in our career path,” said Cullwell. 

According to Ashley Ellington, a Registered Nurse at Wellstar, this is the first year students like Cullwell are going to have real hands-on experience while participating in the Wellstar internship. She said in the past students have done more shadowing and have just observed the nurses work.

“They have a taste of healthcare before they really invest any more time in their future. It can also stimulate their future growth if this is something they want to do particularly if they want to go into nursing. They want to get interested in radiology or lab or any other aspects of the healthcare industry,” said Ellington. 

Students will be assisting with daily care activities like feeding patients and transporting them around the hospital and rotating in specialty areas.