A summer program for high school students that would have allowed them to take part in the National Transportation Summer Institute’s summer program in Kentucky had to be “downscaled” this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program, under the local auspices of the Department of Public Works, is intended to expose high school student to possible engineering career. DPW Highway Administrator Lorraine S. Villagomez said Thursday that these students would have been in Kentucky right now if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Funded by the Federal Highway Administration through grants and through collaboration with DPW, this provides an opportunity every summer for high school students to take part in the summer program in Kentucky, where the students are treated to experiential programs that are intended to get high school students exposed to all kinds of land, sea, and air transportation and interested in a career in engineering. The pandemic, however, made DPW downscale this year.
“We’re hoping that these students will take interest in and pursue engineering, whether it’s [aeronautical] engineering, civil engineering…but because of COVID [this year’s program] had to be downscaled, and now we brought [the program] here to the CNMI,” said Villagomez, who acknowledged these high school students at both the groundbreaking ceremony for the traffic light installation project last week and the Route 36 groundbreaking on Thursday.
Villagomez said that high school students apply to be part of the program by submitting essays, which are then reviewed by a panel made up of DPW staff.