HAMILTON, Ohio — School may be out for the summer, but one group of high school students in Hamilton aren't ready to leave learning behind.
An eight-week career and leadership program introduces students to job opportunities and possible career paths in their own back yards.
"We learn networking, we learn social skills, we spend a lot of time on soft skills," said Dan Bates, president and CEO of Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. "Really, just how to present themselves in public."
The students get a crash course in how to run a modern city. They're presented with realistic challenges current Hamilton leaders deal with all the time.
"It made me realize that you have to take risks to make your city better," said Scarlet Ramirez, a Badin High School student. "Not everybody's going to be happy with it."
Bates explained the program is designed to invest in the future of Hamilton, through a younger generation.
"I think we learn as much as the kids do," he said. "It's interesting to see their perceptions of different businesses and different things that are happening in the city."
The program is offered to all students in the area. This year, students from Badin, Hamilton and Fairfield High Schools are participating.
Local business owners in the area are also eager to participate in the program, which gives them a chance to show off career opportunities all over the city. These businesses hope to encourage local, talented students to stay in the area after school.
"I've learned a lot about Hamilton," said Ramirez. "I always thought it was boring, but now that I'm learning a lot, I'm just like, 'wow, it might have potential.'"