A Southside High School junior has become the first mechatronics student from Donaldson Career Center to be named a Michelin Youth Apprentice. Olivia Spencer, 17, received the coveted spot after an extensive selection process, which included a lengthy application packet, test session, and interview.
“It means so much to me to be able to start my career in manufacturing, especially at a company like Michelin which is absolutely a great company to work for,” Spencer said after a surprise celebration in her mechatronics classroom.
Spencer was one of four GCS students to be selected this year as a Michelin Youth Apprentice. Salome Gibson, Aidan Cantin and Gunther Lizurick were also recipients. The three attend J.L. Mann High School and are mechatronics students at Golden Strip Career Center.
Work Based Learning Coordinator Katie Porter was especially pleased with Spencer’s selection.
“This is a huge deal for us at Donaldson to be a female in manufacturing. That just helps with diversity. She’s also unique in that she’s going to be the poster child for our Graduation Plus initiative. She’s going to complete a CTE (Career and Technical Education) program, she’ll have certifications, she’ll have an approved work-based learning experience, but then she’s also got that IB and AP side at her high school,” Porter said.
The Michelin Youth Apprenticeship program provides a pathway for high school students to transition into Michelin’s Technical Scholars program. Michelin provides Technical Scholars with free tuition, fees and books while they complete a skilled technical program at a community college; hourly pay for 20 hours of work per week in a Michelin facility; and eligibility for entry-level employment upon graduation, with starting salary projections around $56,000 or more.