In Nova Scotia, many high schools are recognizing the importance of hands-on, project-based learning and now offer a program called Options and Opportunities (O2). The O2 program is designed to prepare students for a successful transition from high school to either a career path or postsecondary program. For Haley MacRae, grade 11 student at Sydney Academy, the O2 program allowed her to explore both career and postsecondary options by completing a co-operative study term at CBU’s Art Gallery.
Haley was accepted into Sydney Academy’s O2 program while in the tenth grade, and will continue in this program until she graduates from high school. Haley knew she wanted to gain work experience in the art field and her teacher, John Fraser, was able to make this happen for her by partnering with the CBU Art Gallery.
While working at the CBU Art Gallery, Haley’s main role was to manage the front desk, which allowed her to learn how the art gallery functions as well as rules for handling precious art pieces. Some of her daily tasks included setting up exhibitions, working on the Gallery’s website and managing the Gallery’s social media accounts.
“My overall experience was amazing, the people [at the Gallery] were so kind I couldn’t ask for a better place to work” says Haley. “There wasn’t one day I was bored, there was always something to do, and of course it was a very colourful place to work. I would gladly go back to work there”.
The O2 program helped Haley recognize her goals in terms of her education and career. She plans to return to CBU soon, but this time as a student, saying “I plan on going to school to be a social worker, I also plan to apply to CBU. The Gallery showed me how lovely the school is and how nice everyone was”.
It was a pleasure having you here, Haley, and we hope to see you again soon!