Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
I’ve had a pretty nonstandard high school experience. I started as a freshman at a private school of 150 students, and attended it for three years. It was alright, but I couldn’t help feeling that something was missing. It was like I had a key, but didn’t have the lock that it opened. I was frustrated. In the summer before my senior year, I decided to switch to Hartford High School in order to attend the HACTC. I can safely say that I had never made such a positive transition in my entire time as a student.
There is such a sharp juxtaposition between the HACTC and any school I’ve ever attended. The classes at the Tech Center are taught with an entirely hands-on approach; experience is the vehicle for learning. Additionally, I’m free to pursue what I want within my program. “Boring assignments” cease to exist; projects are whatever the student can dream up. Another major difference between the HACTC and other schools would be the actual applicability of the stuff I learn daily. There is no busy-work - no useless dates, names or formulas to memorize - as everything taught is 100% useful, real-world information that can be applied directly to the task at hand.
There’s been a megalithic shift in how I view myself as a student as well as a person. Within a few weeks in my program, I made a huge discovery: I’m almost entirely a kinesthetic learner. I’d been getting force-fed powerpoints and worksheets for 11 years, with little interest, and here I am at the HACTC, a senior in high school, suddenly able to fully engage.Being at the Tech Center has made me realize my strongest qualities. I have a lot of ability as a natural leader, most of which had previously been going to waste. I’m a people person. Being selected, on multiple occasions, to present about the HACTC to middle schoolers, proved to me that what people had been saying about me my entire life was true. As cheesy as it sounds, the HACTC has let me realize what I’m truly capable of.