GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (WILX) - In this edition of Schools Rule WILX News 10 is highlighting a school that's making sure their students are set up for success in the long run.
It's a brand new initiative at Hayes Middle School in Grand Ledge Public Schools.
Now when you think about high school-even if you've already graduated-do you get butterflies in your stomach?
Hayes Middle School wants to let their students know those butterflies are okay and that there are a lot of great opportunities waiting for them.
"It's very beneficial and important to us because this is what our future is going to be like," said Hayes Middle School seventh grader Ryleigh Mauck when asked about the Career Symposium.
"I can't wait, I've always been the type of person who looks toward the future," Hayes Middle School seventh grader Benton Bell added.
What do you wish you had known before starting your first career? Or even high school for that matter?
Eaton RESA and Hayes Middle School are hoping to answer that question for students before their freshman year even begins.
"As a seventh grader I just wish i knew the world was my oyster," said Heather Algrim, Eaton RESA Career Pathways Specialist. "I had all this time to look at all these experiences but I needed to actually do that."
For the school's first-ever Career Symposium, seventh grade students spent the day learning interviewing tips from professionals from Davenport University and exploring some of the most in demand jobs in Mid-Michigan.
With a panel of seniors from Grand Ledge High School, students were able to hear first hand what their next couple of years may bring.
Students also learned team building exercises to help them understand what it means to work collaboratively with a team-whether that be in their high school classes or in their professional career
"When i was their age I didn't know anything about this, I didn't know what I wanted to do," said Alex Annis, a senior at Grand Ledge High School. "So I want to at least get them thinking about it."
"As a middle school student, you think you have a lot of time to figure out what you want to do in the future when high school zips by so fast," said Cassidy McGeorge, a senior at Grand Ledge High School. "I think it's important to see people just a little bit older than them to see how they navigated high school and how they plan to go about their future."
So why seventh graders? Even though they have one more year of middle school, Eaton RESA says it's never too early to start planning for the future.
"I will definitely take forward different jobs and what they said about high school and what we should do," said Mauk. "I'll definitely take that in to mind."
"This is my first year at Hayes and I can honestly say this feels like a second home, everybody here has made me feel that way," said Bell.
This is the first year Hayes Middle School has hosted the Career Symposium. They want to make sure students feel at home at Grand Ledge High School even before walking through the doors for the first time.