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Exploring Engineering Through Princeton High School Career Academies

In Princeton Public Schools, students are not just attending classes but starting on pathways that could shape their future careers. Among them, high school senior Madelynn Jo Behning is navigating the Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology Career Academy at PHS.

"I've always been intrigued by medicine, but it was biomedical engineering that really caught my attention," Madelynn shares. Through her Career Academy, she was selected for a Youth Skills Training (YST) experience at Glenn Metalcraft, a prominent business in the area. Here, she delved deeper into the intricacies of engineering, gaining practical experience that solidified her passion for the field. "I started working with CAD and programming, which opened my eyes to the possibilities within this field.”

Madelynn is grateful to be developing skills that have real-world applications. “The YST experience allowed me to define my interests," she said. "I got hands-on experience in modifying parts and learning about the manufacturing process. Plus, I got a feel for a real office environment, which prepared me for actual work.”

Despite her enthusiasm, Madelynn admits she faced challenges along the way. "Entering a male-dominated field has been on my mind," she confides. "All the engineers I've encountered so far have been men. While I've seen women in marketing, sales and administrative roles, they're not typically in engineering." 

Nevertheless, Madelynn remains undeterred in her pursuit of an engineering career. "The YST experience reinforced my plans to pursue an engineering degree," she said. She is currently completing her two-year degree through PSEO (post-secondary enrollment options) at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, demonstrating her dedication and ambition to further her education and eventually earn an engineering degree.

Reflecting on her journey, Madelynn offers advice to her fellow high school students: "If you know you're interested in something, go for it!" She encourages, "Do the Career Academy; you won't regret it. Even if you're unsure of your career path, take classes to discover what you like and don't like. It's all about getting that real-world experience." 

As graduation approaches, Madelynn is optimistic about her future. "I wanted to try out a career before diving in, and the Career Academy experience reinforced my plans," she says. "I'm excited to pursue my engineering degree and see where this journey takes me." Madelynn looks forward to the day when she can be a mentor to future women and inspire them to pursue their passions fearlessly.

Princeton's Career Academies are opening doors to careers and providing students like Madelynn with invaluable opportunities to explore their interests. Local business partners like Glenn Metalcraft have been instrumental in providing hands-on experiences that inspire students to succeed in their future careers.

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Our high school Career Academies are helping students pursue their passions, gain valuable job skills, and earn college credits. High school senior  Madelynn Jo Behning is navigating the Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology Career Academy at PHS. She offers this advice to high school students: “Do the Career Academy; you won't regret it. Even if you're unsure of your career path, take classes to discover what you like and don't like. It's all about real-world experience."

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