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Work Samples

Epic Academy students visit Mokena personal trainer for career day

Anyone who has ever graduated from high school knows how important it is to find a career path.

As such, The Transformation Station provided an opportunity Thursday, June 22, for Epic Academy High School students to learn the tricks to working as a personal fitness trainer. It was all part of a partnership aimed at creating a career intensive weeklong program.

“I think it’s huge for high school students to have career-focused programming,” said Jessica Lubin, development manager of Epic Academy High School. “It’s important. A lot of the kids they associate with adults who haven’t gone to college or never finished. Our goal is to help them to succeed. This program is irreplaceable, and having partners in the community is really important.”

This time around, the students’ focus was on The Transformation Station and related careers in personal fitness training. The program is intended to give students a chance to visit with one of the high school’s partners, and for its partners to come in and visit the students at their campus located on Chicago’s South Side.

“I’ve spoken at schools for 25 years,” said Darin Steen, owner of The Transformation Station. “I love to inspire anybody. I love inspiring kids.”

The program featured two breakout sessions, with one focusing on personal responsibility and life coaching values to teach students to be strong individuals, to slow down and make healthy choices, and another portion highlighting the business aspect of personal training.

It’s not always easy to find similar program offerings, Lubin said.

“This program makes Epic Academy High School unique,” she said. “A lot of our graduating students and alumni say the thing they appreciated most was the career intensive program to learn about careers—they may or may not pursue.”

Steen said it’s important for people to know “what some private schools are doing, what some small business are doing that’s positive.”

Epic Academy High School senior Brian Green was one of 25 students who sat in on the program. He said he will walk away from the experience with several takeaways.

“I learned a lot of information,” Green said. “I’m an athlete myself, so I learned about tips I can use.”

Green said he could see himself becoming a personal trainer one day.

“I was thinking about doing something that I could stay active and make money,” he said. “If I couldn’t [make it as an athlete] professionally, I would try to help others.”

Steen said he is optimistic that he and others at The Transformation Station were able to connect with the students.

“I got a great vibe from these kids,” he said. “I had them ask questions. I had them write things down. If each kid took one or two things and stayed focused on that, and followed me on social media, or followed other people, and started being around people they wanted to grow towards, and try to get away from the people who are trying to bring them down, it’s fairly likely that could happen to a few of these kids.”

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