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Success Stories

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Caroline Busbee is a physician’s assistant at Gwinnett Urgent Care who credits CTAE with giving her the confidence, leadership abilities, and skills to make decisions in the field of health care. Before graduating from Oconee County High School in 2012, Caroline was active in her school’s branch of Health Occupations Students of America. In her role as president of HOSA, she helped create more ways for the community and school to get involved, ran fundraising efforts, and encouraged other students to join if they were interested in the medical industry. One of her favorite CTAE memories is attending HOSA leadership conferences, where she enhanced her ability to coordinate with a team. After high school, Caroline continued her education at Mercer University.

“As a part of HOSA, we had meetings about different medical career pathways that were options to help guide us once we got to college, conferences to focus on leadership and medical involvement… It helped me feel confident in my decision to pursue medicine/ health sciences when I started college.”

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Logan Swafford graduated from North Forsyth High School in 2020 and has since used his CTAE and work-based learning experiences to further his career in civil engineering by studying at Kennesaw State University. Logan was involved in the Engineering pathway in high school and engaged in work-based learning with engineering firm Vertical Earth. He is now a construction estimator with the firm, and his work has been used to estimate the cost of important infrastructure projects in his community, including the SR 369/400 interchange. Logan has been with Vertical Earth since 2019, and recently landed an internship working with the Georgia Department of Transportation in its Civil Engineering Department. Moving forward, Logan intends to remain with his former work-based learning employer, Vertical Earth, but is also open to exploring options in public service after his summer internship with GDOT concludes.

“CTAE and work-based learning prepared me for career success by providing the opportunity to learn about work etiquette and general practices of the workplace in a comfortable environment. By the time I was ready to begin my career, I knew exactly what to do and how to behave.”


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Johnelle Simpson is an attorney in Athens, Georgia who graduated from Seminole County High School in 2012. Johnelle credits his experience with the Future Business Leaders of America CTSO with launching him on the career trajectory he enjoys today. Through his involvement with FBLA, Johnelle was able to take advantage of various opportunities that he otherwise would not have been exposed to. For example, he entered public speaking competitions where he won first place in the entire nation in 10th grade. Johnelle considers this the defining moment of his CTAE experience and credits his advisor for investing the time and energy he needed to reach his full potential. After high school, Johnelle became Student Body President at the University of Georgia, Student Bar Association President at the University of Tennessee, and has started his own business. In 2017, Johnelle was able to bring everything “full circle” as he invited his former CTAE advisor to attend his speech at the FBLA Fall Motivational Rally in front of around 8,000 aspiring students.

“FBLA launched my trajectory….The public speaking and interpersonal skills gained through FBLA have aided me in becoming Student Body President at the University of Georgia, Student Bar Association President at the University of Tennessee College of Law, an involved community member, and a public speaker. Through my business, I use my personal story to showcase how passion and hard work can lead to success as a leader. And, you guessed it, my FBLA story is a part of the story I tell.”

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Chloe Paulk, a two-time CTAE pathway completer in Agriculture and Early Childhood Education, graduated from Irwin County High School in May 2022 and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing and entrepreneurship at Mercer University. In high school, Chloe was able to take advantage of the opportunities for soft skills education offered by both of the CTAE pathways she engaged in, including through getting involved in extracurricular activities such as FFA. Chloe also started a small business, Cake It with Chloe, through the local FLEX entrepreneurship program, which gives high school students in local communities an opportunity to make a “Shark Tank-style” presentation to a panel of competition judges. Chloe won this competition and the prize money associated with it, which she has reinvested into her cake shop. In the future, Chloe plans to use the skills learned from her CTAE and CTSO experiences to help build her small business after graduating from college.

“CTAE allowed me to learn how to interact with individuals. It’s allowed me to learn how to do interviews, to speak in front of crowds of people… It’s really just built up so much self-confidence within me, and it’s encouraged me to step out and try new things. CTAE delivered for me by allowing me to gain skills that are going to benefit me far beyond high school.”​​​​​​​