Union Pines students put skills to work

Nothing today is easy for students navigating their high school years, and for those students who choose a nontraditional path or who face learning challenges in a traditional classroom, the journey seems to be a bit foggier and beset with obstacles.

Despite this fact, invested teachers and administrators often find creative opportunities to prove “the norms” almost always possess an exception and allow for teaching and learning outside of the classroom setting.

Here are some insights about a group of spirited and diligent young people and their amazing teachers from Union Pines High School who shared their time and talent with Life Care Pregnancy Center (LCPC) in Carthage.

Not just once to check the box for activity or service, but almost every Wednesday or Thursday for the last several months this team partnered with the staff to ready its clinic space.

These young people– juniors and seniors– participate in a program called OCS or Occupational Course of Study which helps them build life skills, community connections, and an understanding of teamwork.

They gain experience working on projects, leading and following, and through extensive opportunities to use and refine personal skills, they are given a headstart on the myriad of expectations and responsibilities awaiting them.

Ms. Wilson, Mr. Reynolds, Mrs. Moon, Mr. Thomas, and Mr. Hackett teach and work alongside the students. These teachers do not just sit back and watch. They instruct, model, and jump right in to help the students complete whatever task is at hand. ‘All hands on deck’ is their motto. These students, without a doubt, found themselves in the classroom of life.

During the final stages of the renovation of the new building, the students and their teachers took over the dust-ladened, newly remodeled second floor, started cleaning, then finalized each office by building desks and moving cabinets, and organizing the chaos within.

This was no easy task and was not completed in just one day, but many. The students arrived each day with smiles and stories, ready to lend a helping hand to the task of the day. It is not an exaggeration to say that the clinic would not be fully operational today without their assistance.

LCPC exists to support women on the journey of life: providing pregnancy testing, limited ultrasounds, material support, pregnancy and childbirth education, parenting programs, post-abortive referrals, and caring support.

LCPC is able to do what it does because the benevolence of others allows them to be here. They strive to be a light in the darkness, a yes when everyone else says no, and hope when there seems to be none.

LCPC is a safe place for women and babies, and these Union Pines High School students helped make it what it is today. These students shine brightly, and their work is a testament to teachers’ and administrators’ willingness to provide creative opportunities for each student to succeed.

~Written by Sandhills Sentinel contributor Barb Lamblin. Photo provided.

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