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By Lanna Hernandez | CareerWise communications apprentice
Faviola Alderete was worried about her son, Luis Avila. “Luis was a child who was eager to learn, but he absolutely hated school,” Faviola. “My husband and I got to the point where every other day, Luis was begging us to let him stay home. We couldn’t figure out how to motivate him, despite our own passion for education.”
Then a chance encounter at a community event, opened a new door of opportunity for Luis. “I was working at an information table for my own job,” says Faviola, a community health strategist with Eagle County Public Health & Environment. “And right next to me was Mandy Spannagel from Eagle County Schools, handing out flyers about CareerWise.”
Like many parents, Faviola was not familiar with apprenticeship and the opportunities it provides for students to learn and explore careers – while earning money and credentials. “We were of the thinking that students need to go straight to college to be successful,” Faviola shares. “But at that time, I was concerned that Luis might not make it to high school graduation if we stayed on the same path.”
Fast forward a few months, and Luis was working at Gallegos Corp. as a business operations apprentice. All of a sudden, the reasons for going to school made a lot more sense. “Being around adult role models in a professional office environment showed my son why education matters,” Faviola says. “Luis is now looking forward to taking college business classes that his employer will pay for as part of his apprenticeship. He talks about owning his own company some day.”
Luis agrees with his mother about how much the experience has benefitted him. “An apprenticeship is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am getting the experience that will help me succeed as a future business owner. It’s better than working to just get money; I am getting paid to learn.”