Kurt came to the JNCG program as a senior. Before joining the program, he was very reserved and attended a different school because he benefitted from a smaller learning environment. He eventually joined the yearbook staff as a photographer which is where his JNCG Specialist Dustin really began to see him blossom. As the school year began, Kurt attended school each day still wearing his mask, and draping his hair across his face as he was very shy. During the fall spirit week, Kurt made a deal with a school counselor to switch roles, pull his hair back, wear jeans to school and show his face throughout the day with a baseball cap on. He excelled in this role switch. He received many compliments that day, and he began to come out of his shell.
As the school year progressed, Kurt became more confident in himself. He lost the mask, and his face and smile are clearly visible on a daily basis. Kurt had an opportunity to graduate from high school early and enroll in college classes at Wilkes Community College, but he decided to stay for the Spring semester. He began taking online courses at the community college and will earn college credits before graduating high school.
Over the past two years, Kurt’s voice began to shine through his work behind the camera. From school events, one-on-one interviews with students, sporting events, and even working with a photography company that works closely with his school, Kurt has produced many images through this work that tell the story of so many students that walk our school halls. Most recently, Kurt’s voice shone in other ways – through classroom activities, presentations, and being such an important part of the Wilkes Central JNCG program. Kurt also performed a “Shark Tank-type” presentation, blowing away his peers and receiving the highest grade in the class.
Kurt has grown not only as a student, but as an individual who is now confident in himself and all of his abilities. Kurt was recognized as the most Outstanding JNCG student at the JNCG conference on March 1st.