students perform community service activities

Students Create Community Impact With Service

New Castle Career Center’s approach to experiential education integrates classroom instruction with meaningful community service opportunities. The EMT, Cosmetology, Health Sciences, Property and Facility Management, and Building Trades programs are some of the programs that include projects that benefit the community. 

EMT Students Provide Blood Pressure Screenings

New Castle shoppers who visited Wal-Mart on September 14 had the chance to have their blood pressure taken by EMT students. Program Instructor Bill Hufford noted that students learned how to interact with the public and take live vital signs on people. 

“The public was very receptive and appreciative of this service,” Hufford said. 

The program is planning to conduct the screenings again in the spring. 

Future Cosmetologists Build Confidence

The Cosmetology Program participates in several community events during the year. At the Henry County Back to School event they provide free haircuts, and at the “Rise Above It,” which is a mental health awareness event, they provide polish changes, haircuts, and simple styles. 

“Students start to recognize that there is a need for hair care in our community. They also start to see the effects these services have on one’s self-esteem and confidence,” shared Erica Robinson, Cosmetology Program Instructor. “It is amazing to watch these kids light up while working on their guests and how compassionate they become and how involved they are while listening to their guests and their stories.”

Robinson expressed that community members regularly comment on the professionalism of the students. One reason the students exhibit this level of professionalism is that they are accustomed to providing services to the public. The program’s salon is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.; and Wednesday evenings from 4-6 p.m. during the school year. Services can be booked by calling 765-593-6680 Ext. 5201.

Health Science Education Program Prioritizes Community Involvement 

The Health Science Education (HSE) Program aims to provide a community service event each month to prepare students for a career of service. September’s event was a blood drive where students collected 56 units of blood, which can be used to save up to 168 lives.

October’s activity was presenting educational boards on a variety of health issues to New Castle Community School Corporation employees at the Employee Health Fair. Attendees complimented the students and appreciated the information. In November, students are collecting canned food items for God’s Grain Bin, and in December they will be collecting toys and clothes for those in need at Christmas. Next semester’s projects include hosting a “prom” for a local assisted living facility and bowling to raise money for Donate Live and Be The Match.

“With HSE students, it’s not about getting a thank you or being recognized for your service; it’s about meeting a need within our community,” Talbott explained. “As Mahatma Gandhi’s said, ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.’” 

Property and Facility Management Students Create Beautiful Spaces

The Arts Park, SK8 Park, and Ted Fitzgerald trail are just some of the places where the community work of the Property and Facility Management students is on display. The students normally help the Arts Park with groundskeeping, but this year they volunteered to help hang the Christmas lights in the park. 

“My class is based on doing work in the community. Sometimes we get paid for what we do and sometimes, it is nice to simply help out. This was one of those situations,” expressed Joshua Richardson. “I am sure that when they accompany their families to the Christmas walk in the park, they will be full of pride knowing they contributed to the Christmas splendor.”

The Property and Facility Maintenance students frequently work with the director of New Castle’s city parks, Mike Bergum. After the new “SK8” (skate) park was completed, the parks department needed help with landscaping. Students prepared the surrounding area for grass seed and helped install 325 plants around the SK8 Park. 

Mr. Bergum asked the class to lay a paver pad at the head of the Ted Fitzgerald trail next to Wilbur Wright Elementary. Students grabbed shovels and mattocks and literally dug into the project. 

“We worked for a few days on the project and when they were finished, the look of pride they showed was undeniable. Additionally, knowing that the paver pad was going to be used as a pad for a specially donated bench made the project even more special,” noted Richardson.

Building Experience… And A House

The Building Trades Program is building a house for Habitat for Humanity this year. The students are gaining valuable experience in all phases of residential construction. The skills they gain will be influential to students regardless of their plans after graduation. 

The project is working within the requirements for the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Certification. This certification will allow students to receive an interview for the Carpenter’s Union as they approach graduation. 

“This is a high-wage high-demand career path,” shared Career Center Director Mackenzie Jackson. “Habitat for Humanity and the homeowner are extremely thankful for the program’s work so far. The new house on D Avenue will improve the neighborhood and community.”  

Students also finished a garage for Saint James Church this year, which served as a great beginning project.  

For more information about the variety of programs available at the New Castle Career Center, visit