Students participate in apprentice program

Recently, high school students were paired with their mentors and held their kick off orientation at NCWorks on Baldwin Avenue. The students will spend time with their mentor each week while they learn how to bridge the gap to the next step after high school.

McDowell High School and community business leaders have teamed up to help students focus on their future.

GAP stands for Girls & Guys Apprentice Program which is available to select students who show exceptional potential both academically and socially.

This apprenticeship program helps bridge the gap for students as they transition from high school to either college or the workforce. The goal is to assist in creating a better future for high school students by teaching them practical life skills, disciplines and sound principles.

Students will spend a least one hour a week with their matched mentor either at school, in the mentor’s workplace or doing an activity of interest.

Along with one-on-one time with the mentor, the group participants will go on four field trips throughout the county that will be educational and entertaining. These trips are intended to showcase the many career opportunities here in McDowell and introduce students to the variety of career fields within any one industry.

Mentors will help students explore career options based on student skills, talents and passions. Other topics that may be covered in the program include work ethic, goal setting, proper business attire, professional conduct, job punctuality, phone etiquette, business plans, establishing credit and obtaining bank accounts, money management, motivation, loyalty, positive attitude, dealing with the public and career specific experiences or advice.


Tami Newman & Jacque Mentink

ERA Mountain View Properties

Jason Cochran

IT Administrator

City of Marion 

Matthew Crawford

Building Inspector/ County Commissioner

City of Marion

Kellie Holstein

McDowell High School

CTE Instructional Management Coordinator

Janice Whitson Waycaster

JW Appraisal Services LLC

Don Lebow

Columbia Forest Products

Angela Strickland

Youth Development Director

YMCA of Marion 

Tina Wolfe

Project Manager

McDowell County Chamber of Commerce

Marlan Brinkley

Library Director

McDowell County Public Library

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