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    Fellowes High School Student Kristianna Videto adds her signature to the wall. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    A lot of talent was demonstrated at Options. Hayleigh Crosby hopes that this baby shower cake was enough to wow the judges. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Sophie Dickson of Fellowes High School, and Alex Boudens and Anthony Benoit from Bishop Smith Catholic High School learn more about the inner workings of an automobile. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Valour JK - 12 School students Raney Christink and Nathan Wannamaker are up to the challenge of making a tofu stir-fry. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Isaac Murray of Arnprior District High School tries his hand at a race, drilling and hammering as fast as he can. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Opeongo High School student Hunter Panke uses a simulated excavator to pick up little balls, and put them in bins. The exercise is harder than it seems. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    A part of the fantasy hair competition, Brianna Boisclair and Isabelle Legault give Jenna Boisclair a makeover that is out of this world. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    The girls at Valour School have some very creative talent. They beautifully transformed their peers with makeup as part of the Fantasy Hair Competition. Showing off their skills are Kadie Douglas, Enya Schroeder, Kendra Bennett, Kiana Yemen, and Mila Jones. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Algonquin College in Perth offers a Heritage and Traditional Masonry program. Program Coordinator Darrin MacDonald shows how to properly lay a brick. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    To make her photo as sharp as possible and possibly win the photography competition, Valour JK-12 School student Tayla Genereux uses Matthew White as a tripod. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    A small crowd gathers wherever Beaumont the St. Johns Ambulance therapy dog stops. Jeanette Carter feeds him a treat for his gentle patience. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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    Master Corporal Brett David shows Fellowes High School student Kyle Sauve the inside of a munitions tent. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



15 years of Options for Renfrew County students

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Monday July 3, 2017

Options 2017 is in its 15th year of showcasing skilled trades to Renfrew County high school students.

The one-day apprenticeship training event, held this year on May 10, has grown considerably since its inception, attracting over 2,500 students from schools all across the region, some of whom took part in 15 different competitions in trades like welding, carpentry, photography, hair styling, cooking and small engine repair. Others visited booths and displays around the Pembroke Memorial Centre and learned more about alternative career paths.

“It’s really intended to allow high school students to get a better perspective on skilled trade careers,” said Manager, Student and Community Affairs at Algonquin College Pembroke Campus Jamie Bramburger. “There is a number of interactive display here with exhibitors.”

The secret to the event’s success year after year is making it interactive, dynamic, entertaining as well as informative for the students. It helps them better envision working in the skilled trades, and gain some hands-on knowledge of a potential career path.

There are three pillars to education after high school. “You have colleges, you have universities and you have apprenticeship training,” said Bramburger. “Unfortunately, apprentice training hasn’t gotten the same attention.”

With the creation of Options, more young people are now considering alternatives to the traditional post-secondary paths and finding success. “The competitions is the focal part,” said Bramburger. “It is an opportunity to showcase the extraordinary talent of local high school students.”