After navigating a pandemic during their junior and senior years of high school, the Class of 2021 is now preparing for college or a career or — in the case of Propel Fellows — both.
Propel America spoke with three new Fellows in the North Louisiana program about why they chose to do Propel, how their experience has gone so far, and what they do in the future.
Here’s what they shared, in their own words:
Jaylin Jones, Shreveport
I saw a little video about Propel in class, and I was like that might be kind of interesting. Then I went to the auditorium, and they did their presentation. At first I was like, ‘This is too good to be true.’
I was interested in information technology because I really like computers. I’ve even built my own computer. I’d like to be an IT Help Desk specialist to help people with their computer problems: diagnose problems, troubleshoot, figure out the problem, and talk people through it. That sounds really cool, especially right after high school.
I’m interested in working in information technology for General Dynamics [an aerospace and defense corporation]. I have mentors that work there. They described how good it was, so I was like this seems like the move for me. There’s a lot of potential to move up.
To students who are still in high school, I’d say to give Propel a chance. It’s not one of those too- good-to-be-true situations because you can actually get something out of it.
Kobe Manshack, Haughton
Before I found out about Propel, I wanted to become a police officer. I’ve always been interested in helping the public, and my plan was to come out of high school with no student loan debt. I’m turning 18 in July of this year, so I was going to apply at the corrections academy, do that until I turned 21, and then do the police academy and move up from there.
Then I took the class at my high school, and the medical assistant part really caught my eye. The roles, the responsibilities of a medical assistant, and how Propel will help you financially and how they’ll help you the max that they can.
A medical assistant is a good job. I get to help people, and you’re always going to have a medical field; I don’t have to worry about being laid off. You can also move up in the medical field. That’s what I really love. The medical assistant job will be a foot in the door, a good one, and then I can move up.
Now we’re going to go through a class until October, and after that I’ll do clinical hours, and then Propel helps us with interviews with the hospitals they’re partnering with. It’s a guaranteed job interview.
Jeremiah Moy, Monroe
My teacher introduced us to Propel. I like to do hands-on work, so I wanted to contribute to the manufacturing work. I wanted to make a lot of money, and I wanted to help people.
I was going to do welding this summer, and then they were telling me that they were going to help us get a job. I thought that was pretty cool to me, so I took it.
Class started June 1 at West Monroe [a campus of Louisiana Delta Community College]. We have class Monday through Thursday. Blueprint reading. Welding familiarization class. Intro to metal. It’s from 8:00am to 2:00pm.
After that, we’ll do an internship, and we’re getting paid along the way. They said we’ll get two stipends. It would help pay for books or clothes or even gas to get out to West Monroe. That was a blessing because it will help a lot of people out.
I told my younger brother, if you don’t know what you’re going to do after high school, do Propel. I took this opportunity because you’re helping me get a job, finish my welding, and then I can use that credential that y’all are helping me get, so I felt like that was a win-win.