3 locals earn apprenticeships

Published 11:57 pm Thursday, May 11, 2017

Three Andalusia Housing Authority residents have been selected to attend the Summer Apprenticeship Program for Forestry, Fire, Ecology and Wildfire at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) in Huntsville.

Those accepting the opportunity are Jaden Brown, Kendrick Brown and Deste’ne Shakespeare. All are graduating seniors at Andalusia High School.

The program is sponsored by AAMU, U.S. Forest Service, Office of Civil Rights and U.S. Forest Service Workforce Diversity Project. Although the students will receive a stipend for participating in the program, the Andalusia Housing Authority will be able to provide transportation to and from Huntsville thanks to a grant from the Solon Dixon Foundation. The housing authority would also like to thank Mrs. Deidre Ward Smith, National Equality Opportunity Specialist, and AHS grad for reaching back and investing into the community to help students. Mrs. Smith contacted Hannah Shakespeare, resident initiative director at AHA, to suggest she present the opportunity to the students living in the Andalusia Housing Authority.

High school seniors through college sophomores throughout the southeast competed for slots in the program. Program participants are selected through a competitive process which requires a 2.5 or better grade point average, a written career objective essay and recommendation from the school’s counselor or teacher.

The three-week intensive program is designed for students to gain first-hand experience in research and management activities and learn more about career opportunities in forestry, fire, wildlife, ecology and other related sciences. While there, the students will participate in classroom activities, will work in research labs and in the field and will participate in field trips to natural areas and production sites. Each student will work with a research scientist, a mentor and will develop a project requiring a written and oral presentation where they can be eligible to receive awards for their work.