A letter of description from Wausa Principal Shane Anderson:
In January of 2021 Wausa High School featured its first class in the new WHIP Program. WHIP, which stands for “Wausa High Internship Program” originated from a number of different ideas and issues we had seen and heard from the community and students at WPS. What this program hopes to provide is:
● A Hands-On Educational Opportunity: From a schools perspective we had very few opportunities for our students to go out into the real world and learn about potential career fields. This opportunity gives the students a chance to see first hand what some of these fields entail and if it is something they would like to pursue a higher education in.
● Fulfill Community Job Needs: Employers are experiencing many hardships in trying to fill positions. We hope our students provide some immediate relief to businesses in the community but also give businesses a chance to recruit students into their career field.
The WHIP program allows students to intern one day a week outside of school. Students are required to still complete 5 days of school work, with one of those days being a digital day where assignments and lessons are online and can be completed on their own time. Students are required to maintain a certain GPA to be eligible. We do not require employers to compensate or pay students for their work but it is allowed in the program.
Since January of 2021 we have made a few changes to the program. Originally this opportunity was only given to seniors their second semester. With the interest we had in the program it was decided to open it up for Seniors all year long and Juniors in the spring semester for the 2021-22 school year. For the 2022-23 school year we are going to again allow Juniors to participate in the program in the spring semester. Seniors will be allowed to participate all year but their internship day will be on Friday’s. We will also be adding the “Friday’s At Northeast” program into the mix. This program allows students to start a career pathway and earn college credits while doing so. This is an unbelievable opportunity for our students and a wonderful program. We have secured scholarships and funding that will make this program extremely affordable if not free for our students.
Our main goal was to give kids who were unsure about what they wanted to do opportunities to educate themselves. We also want to provide the student knowledge about local opportunities and career fields that will hopefully allow them to live in Wausa even if they are not necessarily employed by a business in Wausa. The future of our community and school relies upon these young people finding opportunities in or around our community. We hope that local businesses will help us grow this program and if there are any questions please reach out.
If you’re interested in joining the WHIP Program initiative, please contact Wausa Public Schools at 402-586-2255.