Sun Prairie students jump start their careers as youth apprentices


The Star: The halls of Sun Prairie High School are home to engineers, accountants, biotechnology researchers, nurses, automotive technicians, pharmacy technicians, plumbers, welders, and construction workers. The people in these professions are students too, part of the high school’s Youth Apprenticeship Program.

The program gives juniors and seniors real-world work experience in a career field of their choice, supplementing paid work experience with related classes in addition to their high school coursework.

Hiba Hashim, a senior, works as a pharmacy technician at UW Health at the American Center through the program. Hashim said she had always been interested in the medical field, and her interest in pharmacy sparked after she took a biotechnology class last year. When the class ended, she met with SPHS school to career counselor Nancy Everson, who worked throughout the summer to find Hashim a position in which she could experience working in a hospital setting.

Working constantly with patients and insurance companies at the pharmacy, Hashim said she has developed better communication skills that will help in her goal of becoming a doctor. Hashim has applied to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in nursing, and may continue working at the American Center Pharmacy once she moves on to college.

“When I first started out, I always thought that the pharmacy was a really isolated place because you’re always in the back with medicines,” Hashim said. “But, now that I actually work in a hospital, I realize just how much pharmacists have an impact on patient care.”

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