Hartford Area Career & Technology Center
Hello, my name is Allison Courtemanche, but to the students and teachers throughout the halls of Hartford High School and the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center (HACTC), I am better known as Al. I have always been a pretty outgoing kid, but it was not until I began my journey in HACTC that I truly broke out of my shell and really found who I wanted to be. So, let me take you on the journey of my experiences at HACTC.
My sophomore year I was a normal high school girl, just trying to survive my second year of high school and trying to find where I truly belonged. I was going to the same classes every day, learning the same subjects, but nothing I was excited to go back and do every day. I strived to find a new experience, try something different, and discover something in this school that truly interested me. Along comes the day where the sophomores were able to take a tour around HACTC. I thought, “Why not go? It will get me out of class and maybe I will like one of the programs.” So I went, and I fell in love with the Human Services program, applied, and got accepted. I could not wait to start.
A little less than a year later, I started my first day of junior year and all I could think about is what was Human Services going to be like? Am I going to like the other students from the other schools? Are they going to like me? Along with a stream of other questions, I went to class. The day started and everyone was looking around at one another, silent. I was scared this was what it was going to be like every day for the rest of the year, but eventually everyone started to get comfortable with each other and we became a strong group of not only classmates, but friends. As the year went on, my responsibility in the class grew. I was selected to be the president of our class, and was held to high expectations as a leader and an achiever. But I believe this is what helped me most, I had finally broke all the way out of my shell. I had found the class that I strived to do better in each and every day, and become a role model to all those around me.
Not only has this program taught me how to be a leader, and started to shape the person I am now, but it also introduced me to the person I want to become. We do community job placements each semester, and my first placement was at the Regional Resource Center (RRC), or the Special Education school in Hartford High. I instantly fell in love with the work done at the RRC and could not wait to go back each day. I strongly believe the work I have done there for the past two years has changed me as a person, and transformed me into the person I will become. I am going to college to pursue a career in Special Education, and if it was not for the exposure to the RRC through the Human Services Program, I do not know what I would be doing. I cannot imagine wanting to do anything different.
Attending HACTC is truly one of the best decisions I have made throughout my high school career. It has affected me in so many positive ways, not only academically, but also socially. I am almost half way through my second year at HACTC, and I have won awards, made presentations to the Board of Directors, taken a two week trip to Japan, made lifelong friends, and have been a part of a strong community that will have an impression on me for the rest of my life. I would not take back attending HACTC for anything in the past four years of my high school career.
Thank you for reading and I hope I have left the impression on you that HACTC has left on me.