From high school to adulthood, program helps

Posted at 6:19 AM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 07:26:00-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Many adults will tell you, you can't learn everything from a book.


At the age of 18, it’s both daunting and borderline unrealistic to think you can plan your whole life ahead of you.


Omaha Street School gets this.


Gap University is a transitional phase between high school and college or the workforce, says Lance Griffin, a program director and instructor.


This fall, Street School launched it after seeing a number of students who do well in high school, but then graduate without having a plan in place for their lives.


The non-traditional school likens Gap U to a crash course on “adulting.”


Griffin says the concept focuses on three things: writing, reading and life skills.


It’s no continuation of World Literature or writing endless essay prompts, Griffin says.


"The reading is a mixture of making sure [you understand] the documents you're reading, whether contracts or policies and procedures,” says the instructor.


With writing, students can expect to learn how to prepare grants, business proposals and other office documents, according to the school.


In its infancy, three students are currently in the class, but Street School is open to having five total later down the road, says the school’s executive director, Linda Reimer.


From Tuesday to Thursday, mornings are spent on writing and reading with the last hour dedicated to life skills, which includes subject matters like social media and professional decorum.


Once class is over, students head out the door for work, which Street School matched them with based on their interests, Reimer says.


To ensure they’ll have reliable transportation, the school provides an Uber.


The program, fully dependent on grants and donations, has an annual $50,000 budget which covers items such as student uniforms, meals, jobs – even paying the students’ wages and providing transportation.


 So far, students  Erica Mease, 19, and Dillon Richtig, 20, say they like the program.


Mease, a 2016 graduate, felt the invite-only program came at just the right time.


I felt like I needed it, she says.


For Richtig, his work at Digital Express allows him to channel his creativity outlet because he likes to draw sketches.


The 2015 graduate says he remembered Reimer talking about Gap U over a year ago, thinking it was a good idea.


When asked what made him want to check it out, Richtag says he was tired of working odd jobs.


“I wanted to move forward in my life .”


To learn more about Omaha Street School, click here.