VALPARAISO, Ind. – “Nexus Apprenticeship” a new program through Valparaiso’s First United Methodist Church, offers high school students the chance to explore careers under the supervision of a mentor.

Students in grades eight to 12 from single parent or limited income families, and those from the city’s Hilltop neighborhood or public housing are eligible to enroll in the program.

During the eight-week programs offered this past summer, students had two-hour sessions with a mentor everyday to explore various career fields including medicine and public works. There was an educational aspect, including SAT test preparation and American history lectures.

The program concluded with a week-long trip on the East Coast to see Gettysburg, Independence Hall, Washington, D.C. and the World Trade Center site in New York City.

“Nexus” gave participants a weekly stipend and contributed to funding for post-high school education.

Groups funding the trip included First United Methodist Church of Valparaiso, Valparaiso University, the city police department, the YMCA and local businesses.

For more information or to donate to the program, contact First UMC Pastor Derek Perkins at 219-465-1661.

This story was taken in part from the Northwest Indiana Times.