FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) -- Hundreds of Freeport students are preparing for a career before they even graduate high school and the school district hopes it'll work out in the city's favor.
Reina Roderick and Ella Mercier have big dreams.
"I'm hoping sometime in the near future that I can start my own engineering business," says Roderick.
"Something in the animal field and related to biology," says Mercier.
The two Freeport freshman feel Kevin Budden's career class is helping them achieve those dreams.
"Sometimes after high school, kids don't know what they're going to do at all, like are they going to go to college or are they going to wait or not even go to college," says Roderick. "If we start now, we have a slightly bigger idea and we're open to new things."
The school has long offered career oriented classes to upperclassmen, but this is the first year the school has required freshman to take the course which exposes them to a variety of careers, teaches them interview skills and how to write a resume.
"I feel like it's really going to help me because I really want to go to college," says Mercier. "I feel like this is an extra step to keep me prepared."
"What they do in high school today is going to affect the rest of their life," says Budden. "We're hoping as they go through high school, they can work towards being a doctor, a lawyer, that they all have dreams of doing now as freshmen."
The school also helps connect students with local companies that may help them train for a career in their field of interest. There's also a course for students interested in becoming teachers, in hopes they'll return and teach for the District.