Education

Paving the way for possibilities

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How Partnership Gwinnett will impact the younger set

One thing is for sure, youngsters in Gwinnett have big plans for their futures. We know – we asked!

As the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce starts implementation of the Partnership Gwinnett initiative in earnest, Gwinnett Magazine takes a look at how the plan”s goals would support the dreams of some of Gwinnett”s most important residents – our children.

We asked several school-age children and young adults that age-old question: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Not surprisingly, many of their dreams will be supported and furthered by the four primary objectives of the Partnership Gwinnett effort – promoting economic wealth and diversification, increasing education and workforce excellence, improving the quality of life, and heightening visibility through outreach programs.

Of course, the young people we talked with aren”t at all concerned with strategic plans and economic development. Right now, they”re just thinking about living that grown-up dream.

Straight talk from second grade
Students in Mrs. Dyanne Beavin”s second grade class at Arcado Elementary School wrote essays for Gwinnett Magazine telling us all about what they are planning to do when they "grow up."

Several of the boys in the class say they want to play sports. Justin Corry says he wants to be a baseball player just like Jeff Francoeur. Latrell Veal and Elijah Lopez are also interested in pursuing careers as professional athletes.

Gwinnett leaders plan to be ready for them. With the Gwinnett Force, the Gwinnett Gladiators and the Atlanta Vision, the county already has an arena football team, a minor league hockey team and a semi-professional basketball team. Not to mention that Commissioner Bert Nasuti has a dream of bringing a minor league baseball team to Gwinnett.

Four students in Mrs. Beavin”s class want to be veterinarians. Ben Forbes wrote, "I want to work at the vet, so I can help animals when they are sick or hurt."

With the veterinary technology program at Gwinnett Technical College and the biology program at Georgia Gwinnett College, students can get a good start studying for that field.

The economic diversification and wealth creation goal of Partnership Gwinnett will continue to focus on bringing jobs to the area. Many of the students we talked to have their sights set on jobs that already exist in the county, while others chose fields targeted for growth, including those in the fields of science and technology.

Besides playing sports and helping animals, students in the class had other ideas about their futures including becoming a fireman, mechanic, game maker, beautician, solider, teacher, scientist, illustrator, artist, counselor, art teacher and a music teacher.

Dance it up
For 12-year-old Alexis Griggley, dance has been a part of her life since age three. "I just had a passion for it since the time it was first introduced to me," she says.

Griggley currently spends about five hours a week taking classes at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet and is in the apprentice company of the local Southern Ballet Theatre in Lawrenceville. She has aspirations of dancing professionally.

While Griggley could easily study dance and eventually dance professionally outside of the state, she may not have to. One of the goals of Partnership Gwinnett includes improving the quality of life, including a focus on the arts and entertainment.

The Gwinnett Center complex already provides an outlet where both home-grown and national cult