Seven Athens High School students are ready to launch their careers after completing the school's first Ready to Work program.
Students participating in the program had their pick of 21 local businesses for their interviews.
"I only signed up for two and they were with Athens Hospital and Mazda Toyota," said Zuleyma Figueroa.
Figueroa said she was surprised Mazda Toyota offered her a position.
"I really didn’t think I would get an offer from them," said Figueroa. "When I saw it, I was just in shock."
Figueroa has plans to enter community college this fall, while working at Mazda Toyota.
Lori Jones, the Career and Technical teacher, says students are able to choose whether or not they want to continue their studies.
"That’s the beauty of the program," said Jones. "Some of my students have accepted a career and maybe their job is going to allow them to work and make the money to pay for school."
Senior Luke Lynn said he doesn't have plans to go to college. The Ready to Work program prepared him for the job force, right out of high school.
"I had two interviews," said Lynn. "The first one was just basic interview questions; 'hey, what would you do in these situations?' And the second one we went over the benefits."
Jones said the program has seven units to cover.
"Students actually get the opportunity to learn about applications, interviewing, all types of information about workplace skills," said Jones.
Students also learn how to problem solve, think critically and improve their time management. Participating companies are paying $17 an hour or more. Companies are also offering a number of benefits.
Students who complete the program will receive one free course at an Alabama Community College and an Alabama certified worker certificate.
Athens Renaissance High School will be offering the Ready to Work program during the next school year.