The Options and Opportunities Program
Exploring the future
The Options and Opportunities Program (O2) course, offered at six CCRSB high schools, provides students with the ability to identify their career direction before finishing high school. As part of the O2 program, students are required to complete 100 hours of hands on work experience through co-op placement. O2 students develop a better understanding of their future career paths, goals, aspirations and a strong sense of pride in their work. They are constantly motivated to learn new skills and challenge themselves.
Tracy Mason, a Grade 11 student at North Colchester High School, has been participating in the O2 program to learn how to further her writing career. Tracy has always had a passion for writing and has written three novels to date.
“I’ve just always really loved writing, ever since I started school,” said Mason. “I didn’t start writing seriously in my free time until I was about 12 and no longer played with dolls. I had to transfer my imagination to something else. Writing seemed like the best way since the strongest part of my imagination came from the characters and their lives.”
The O2 program has provided Tracy with the opportunity to work with local author Sheree Fitch. As a mentor, Fitch has been integral to Tracy’s success in the program by providing hands-on learning, strategies to develop essential skills as a writer, and demonstrating all the responsibilities required to work as a full-time writer.
“I love the idea of apprenticeship and mentorship” said Fitch. “It is a hands-on, real life, learning experience. It is a wonderful opportunity for learning to take place outside the classroom. In a mentorship program both the student and the mentor benefit from the experience, it works both ways.”
Tracy plans to attend the Nova Scotia Community College to pursue a degree in business and to continue writing science fiction. She is also hoping to expand her work into graphic novels as well as other styles of writing.
Tracy encourages students who are unsure about their future career path to enter the O2 program: it lets you explore your options and keeps your passion the main focus of your future career.