White’s entrepreneurial program, Growing Teens for Life (GTFL), gives teens on White’s Wabash, Indiana, campus, the opportunity to gain hands-on work experience. After learning and applying work skills, they leave White’s with resumes and paths for their futures in hand.
A recent addition to Growing Teens for Life is the opportunity for students to acquire certification in one or more vocational areas. These certifications will give them a distinct advantage as they apply for jobs. Kenneth Harvey, White’s Director of Experiential Learning, takes these certifications seriously, so seriously that he will be acquiring each of the certifications himself.
“I should have a full understanding of what the tests for certification entail,” he said recently. “With that understanding, I can ensure our curriculum is preparing our students well.”
Kenny came to White’s more than qualified: He earned an undergraduate degree in Commercial Horticulture from Purdue University; he holds a Workplace Specialist II license from the Indiana Department of Education; and, he is a Certified Logistics Technician Instructor. (He also has a graduate degree in Christian Ministry.)
Just recently, Kenny acquired a new credential; he is now an Indiana Accredited Horticulturalist. His next goal is to become a Master Horticulturist, one of 125 statewide. The accrediting body, the Indiana Nursery and Landscaping Association, has a committee dedicated to ensuring the relevancy and value of the Indiana Horticultural Certification. The INLA’s Executive Director asked Kenny to join the committee. Kenny is working to establish a student-level Indiana Horticultural Certification.
“This certification will equip White’s students with foundational knowledge they will need to land jobs with nurseries, landscaping companies, and gardening centers.”
The other certifications offered through Growing Teens for Life are in retail, food service, hospitality, and logistics.