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Citrus County Program Helping Students Transition Into the Workforce

CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — The transition from high school to the work force can come with some challenges for many students but in Citrus County, the Withlacoochee Technical Transition Academy is helping students with that. 

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Matthew, Sean, Stephen, and Tyler are all part of the transition program in Citrus County. They are all unique in their own way, taking some time off the books, the boys are at the Education Foundation teacher store helping out. 

Tyler Dakis said, “I learn about basic job skills when after you graduate college and you go on with working a part time job.”

Tyler is a super senior — this is his third year in the Transition Academy. He’s met all the requirements to graduate but deferred graduation to get more life skill experience. 

Education Foundation Executive Director Shaunda Burdette said, “With COVID happening, these students who are our transition students, are not able to go to work due to the restriction with COVID.”

Typically they would volunteer at the local hospital or elementary schools but with the pandemic, they’re getting their experience at the teacher store.

As orders come in, volunteers in the transition program fill the bags with each item. This allows them to get in a routine just as they would in a job force.

Burdette added, “It’s a great experience for them to get what they might get in a job shadow program, but we are having them do a volunteer work place program.”

So from 10-2 every day, the boys trade in the textbooks for hands on experience to help not just themselves but the teachers who are giving back to their students. 

Students in the transition program will also gain other experiences like in the culinary department to prepare them for different jobs they may get out of high school. 

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