The UCM Innovation Campus is a program that helps teens prepare for college through internships and training programs.
Governer Jay Nixon and the University of Central Missouri President Chuck Ambrose launched it in Feb. 2012.
Five kids from West participate in the program – Max Ostrander, Keeton Thompson, Quinn Cosgrove, Joey Nooner, and the Orson brothers, Nate and Matt.
Junior Matt Orson is involved with program for the great benefits he will receive afterwards, and for the training he gets while in it.
“It’s a program meant to accelerate our learning in college.” said M. Orson, “We go to college early, we take a couple classes throughout the school year of our junior year and then senior year were not here, but rather at college full time while we are having an internship at different companies.”
Senior Nate Orson describes the program as a chance to get a free education and internships for companies.
“Its helps with finances and education, I mean, I’m already doing more advanced things than my other friends.” said N. Orson.
After he leaves the program, N. Orson plans to work for DST.
M. Orson will go to the LSR7 school district for his internship.
M. Orson said “We take college classes a year and a half early. It helps us get our degrees faster and into the work force.” His favorite thing about the program is that it’s a free, full paid for education and internship.
To join the Innovation Campus program M. Orson said he knows you must have a 3.0 GPA in school, about a 95% attendance rate and join a specific program at Summit Tech.
Next year they will be adding engineering to the program.
For more information on how to become a part of the program, visiting the UCM Innovation Campus website can help.
“I don’t have to worry about college.” said N. Orson when asked what his favorite thing about the program was.
N. Orson said that most of the kids in the program are his close friends, so he enjoys that part a lot about it.
The Innovation Campus is a free way for kids who have the determination to work hard their high school years to receive an education and internship to companies that a typical high school student would not usually have. The Orson brothers are both thankful for the program and are glad to be getting into the work force early and prepared.
Nate Orson begins to hook up all the necessary wires in order to achieve the correct records. This area is a lot of trial and error until they figure out what was needed to get to what they were trying to acheive. Photo by Dakota Moore