Career-oriented students finding success at Carman Park

Javonte Welcome, a senior at Carman Park- Baker Career Academy, is presented a certificate of recognition by Superintendent Bill Haley.

Javonte Welcome, a senior at Carman Park- Baker Career Academy, is presented a certificate of recognition by Superintendent Bill Haley.

FLINT TWP. — Javonte Welcome and Chelsea Hughy, both outstanding students at Carman Park – Baker Career Academy were lauded by the Carman-Ainsworth Board of Education last week and presented with certificates of recognition.

Carman Park is a high school/early college partnership program between Bendle Public Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and Baker College of Flint. Students are dual enrolled in high school and college and take college level courses steered toward career interests.

“ We had in the Fall 2011 semester, 17 students enrolled in 108 credit bearing classes,’’ said Eric Suender, Carman Park principal. “They had a 93% completion rate of those courses…our best in 5 years.”

He Introduced Welcome and Hughy as examples of the academy’s accomplished students. Both students made brief remarks to the board about their studies, goals and experiences at Carman Park.

“My reason for coming to Carman Park Career Academy was because of not only getting high school experience but to better myself through Baker and the college courses,’’ said Hughy, a sophomore who is currently taking U.S. History, Chemistry, Biology and Geology courses.

She credits the Academy with helping her become a more mature person and assisting her five-year-plan to transfer her credits to a four-year university and pursue a career as a pediatric nurse.

Welcome, who is a senior, said he learned about the program as an eighth grader and enrolled with encouragement from his grandmother.

“My beautiful grandmother was ecstatic about it,’’ he said. “She knew of the privilege before I did.”

Welcome credited the program with laying the foundation for his future goal to become a surgeon.

“It gave me the chance to experience what it is like to attend college and get ahead of some of my peers,’’ he said.

Welcome said he has earned more than 50 credit hours at Baker and plans to earn more by taking Workplace Communication and Microbiology for winter term.

“I am motivated to become a surgeon but for right now I plan to acquire my associate’s in medical assisting,’’ he said. “The opportunity for me to become a dual-enrolled student has shaped me to be a well-rounded student. This school opened the gates for me to learn but did not hand feed me anything. I am responsible for my own success.”

Superintendent Bill Haley congratulated both students on their accomplishments and wished them continued success.

“I wish we would have been videotaping you,’’ he said to Welcome, after his polished presentation. “You did a great job.”

Suender said Carman Park, now in its fifth year, currently has about 110-120 students enrolled and is growing. The school located at 3375 Van Campen Road on Baker’s campus, offers a variety of experiences for students such as a Senior Club, Environmental Club, TeenQuest and Robotics.

Students are admitted through a highly selective process. They commit to a rigorous academic and career-preparation curriculum that meets guidelines of the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC). More information about the school is provided on its website at

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