Wilson Talent Center ends year with a showcase

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Planning for Wilson’s Talent Center year-end showcase is underway. Every spring, all academic programs at Wilson work together to present their skills to the community. Wilson Talent Center is within the Ingham Intermediate School District, and offers enrollment to high school juniors and seniors.

student working on food truck

Haley Sinclair

Culinary arts student Zanayia Crook

The year-end showcase typically draws around 1,000 attendees from Mason and the neighboring communities. This year’s showcase is 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 16th at the Wilson Talent Center.

“We start months in advance preparing ideas and set up how were going to highlight students’ talents,” said culinary arts instructional assistant Meegan Smith. “We already started figuring out, here in March what we’re going to do in May.”

After a year of defining skills, students from all programs can display their achievements and provide services to their community. The healthcare program is known for giving free health assessments, while programs such as the cosmetology program may do special drawings for prizes such as a free haircut, or manicure.

According to Stacy Adado, Wilson Talent Center communication specialist, in the past the programming and mobile applications program have simulated a computer game they created and website they designed, while the criminal justice program presented handcuffing and takedowns.

“If you stand at the door while people are leaving on showcase day, they all walk out of here saying, ‘I had no idea they did all this here,’” Said Adado. “We love to have community members come in and see what our students are doing and see the programs that we’re offering. Most of them leave here pretty surprised and impressed.”

The Wilson Talent Center works to equip high school juniors and seniors with real-life career experience. The wide range of early college programs includes agriculture, architecture, arts, finance, health, hospitality, human service, information technology, Law enforcement, manufacturing, science and transportation.

First-year culinary students gain an understanding of proper food storage, sanitation procedures and event planning. Culinary students may work the on-campus Fresh and Furious food truck or gain catering experience. Second-year students can obtain internships with Jackson National Life or Dart Container Corporation through The Wilson Talent Center.

“You’re given a whole view of what the service industry is all about,” said Smith. “Both front of the house, serving, setting tables, and back of the house, meaning kitchen.”

This year, the school gave away about $28,000 in scholarships at its annual scholarship dinner, along with recognizing alumni.

“We actually started a wall of fame in our commons area recognizing the accomplishments of our past graduates that have continued to study in the field that they studied here,” said Adado. “Many are giving back and serving as program advisors in the programs that they were once in. That’s always nice when they give back to the students because they valued their time here so much.”

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