“We looked for a school where this would enhance educational opportunities,” she said. “Lindley is a not only a Title I school, but it also has a 35% annual transition rate. That was one of the reasons I wanted to go there, and they were open to the idea.”
This year marked LEAP’s third at Lindley and proved to be the most successful so far. More than 50 businesses and colleges turned out to meet about 1,200 seventh and eighth graders during the four-hour event that filled the school’s two gym areas. Parents were also invited, and a number spoke with representatives from the Census Bureau about part-time job opportunities.
“The students loved the [J.W.] Huber company’s science experiments and meeting the universities,” said Wachniak. “A men’s group from KSU Career Services taught boys how to tie ties, and the Cobb County police talked about what it’s like being a police officer.”
Eighth grader Kadin Russell enjoyed speaking with advisers from Chattahoochee Tech and KSU. “I’ve been thinking about doing research on schools, and this fair helped me,” she said. “It gave me a longer list of pros and cons around whatever I decide to do. And that will help me decide what to focus on in high school.”
This year’s fair was particularly special for Russell and four fellow students who were the first to receive scholarships to a week-long arts camp at KSU this summer. The funding was provided by the Huber company.
“When you can touch this many young people, I’m happy to be there,” said Wachniak. “High school is too late to start thinking about college and career.”
Information about Lindley Middle is online at cobbk12.org/Lindley.
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Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3042.