Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
My name is Kelsey Mason. I am currently a senior at Hartford High School and I am also enrolled in the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC) in the Human Services program. The purpose of the program is to learn and survey the field of human services. I chose to come to this program because I have desire to help and care for people, especially in my own community. Throughout the course of my stay at the HACTC, I have had many opportunities to help in the community with multiple food drives as well as helping the homeless. I love helping in the community because it is very rewarding to see the difference I can make in people’s lives. In the future, I hope to study occupational therapy to then become an Occupational Therapist.
In my junior year, for about half of the year, the class did a lot of curriculum work and learning about people with disabilities, the elderly, and early childhood. We have studied topics all the way from birth to death and dealing with grief. The second half of the year, each student had three eight week practicums to apply what they have learned in the classroom. The three different populations we got to work with and learn about were: people with severe disabilities, the elderly, and young children. Although working in the classroom was not the most exhilarating experience, it was very rewarding to apply what I have learned in the real world.
The experiences during my senior year have been a little different from my junior year. This year instead of having to work with the three different populations, we are able to choose which of the three we are most interested in. I chose to work with the elderly at Valley Terrace and to be in the Lab School here at the HACTC. The purpose of the Lab School is to design a program for preschool age children and to learn how to write lesson plans. We also spent a great deal of time learning about poverty and completed a “Make A Difference Project” related to directly helping the homeless. We will also be studying how to best communicate with children and families.
I am also involved in Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) called Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). In FBLA there are conferences students can attend to learn about industry as well as earn scholarships by competing in program related events.Attending the HACTC as helped me grow as a student and a person. It has helped because I have been able to use what I learned hands-on. The HACTC is a very welcoming place, every teacher I see in the hallway greets me or introduces themselves. Every day I look forward to coming to the HACTC because I know that I will get to apply my knowledge to everyday learning.