Brandon Schaefer and Abrar Altaay have a pretty good handle on their futures. The two Garner High School seniors are among only nine students countywide to enter the second year of a new internship program that, when they complete it, will provide them with an associate’s degree and a job guarantee.
The two students entered the N.C. TAP program, short for North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program, as juniors. Each student was paired with a local company – Schaefer went to work with Morris & Associates in Garner, which builds icemakers, while Altaay began with GlaxoSmithKline in Zebulon.
Both students spent the year learning the work they were doing and last summer, company officials met to decide whether to extend an offer to the students to continue.
Doing that meant providing two years worth of tuition payments at Wake Tech and it also meant the promise of a permanent job once they graduate.
Schaefer and Altaay say the grind of school (they must keep their grades up) Wake Tech classes and work has been a challenge. But they agree the benefits are long-term.
“I’m happy that I can pay for at least two years of college and my parents won’t have to,” Altaay said.
Schaefer also acknowledged the challenge. “I put in my best work and hoped it would pay off. Fortunately it did.
Garner High will host an interest meeting Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. at the South Garner campus to consider new students for the program.