SENIOR STORIES: Krysta Miles gains confidence for future success
Most seniors in Nelson County Schools are introduced to the workplace their senior year through their place-based experiences. Some of their jobs connect directly to what they want to do after graduation. But success after high school involves so-called soft skills, and for students like Krysta Miles, exposure to the workplace is the best place to learn fundamentals like communication skills.
Her place-based experience was at the gym Fitness One, where she works the front desk interacting with clients, selling memberships and maintaining the facilities.
“When I first started working here, I didn't even talk to my boss, really. I was really quiet, I'm a pretty quiet person, always have been,” the Nelson County High School senior said.
Her job forced her to interact with others, though, both customers and coworkers.
“It's made me a more open person to communication and a better speaker and a little more competent in my communication skills,” she said.
It also taught her self-sufficiency. The gym recently moved locations, and her boss and the gym’s owner would often spend time overseeing the renovations of the new facility. A few months into her experience, Krista often found herself running the old facility solo.
“It was really scary. I was really nervous,” she recalled. “This was my first job, my first time being on my own. And so when I was on my own, I kind of was more reserved. People would try to sneak in, I would have go confront them, tell them to pay. It would be kind of scary, I would get some rude responses sometimes. But it's really, it's gotten a lot better now that I can just be like, ‘Hey, you got to pay or you gotta leave.’ ”
Krista said much of her improved communication skills come from gaining confidence, and that has made a difference in her life both at school and in her future possibilities.
“I used to not speak in class, even if I knew the answer. But after talking here, I'll talk more in class, I've become a really talkative person in class. After this, I went for a leadership role in a club at school,” she said. “My biggest thing was the fear of judgment from others. The fear of, ‘Oh, what if I say the wrong thing,’ but now that I've been here, I've gotten over that fear and kind of opened up more.”
Krista will graduate high school having also earned her associate degree from Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, and plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University. She says the confidence and communication skills she has gained from her senior year will benefit her when she goes to college far away from home.
“ I feel like to succeed in college you need communication, like communicating with peers, speaking up in class and participating, so this job has really helped me develop those skills so that I can take them on to college.”
A total of 51 Pride Award Winners and 20 retirees were honored at the 2nd Annual NCS Leader Celebration at Dant Crossing.
A handful of Nelson County and Thomas Nelson seniors have gotten a jump start on their college education by graduating high school with their associate degree.
Justin Mobley, a senior at Nelson County, joined the Aerospace Build program his senior year after three years of being a part of the automotive program. Justin discovered his love for cars very early into high school, but wanted to take the next step up.
Krysta Miles says she was often reluctant to speak up in class or other situations, but her place-based learning during her senior year has empowered her to find her voice.
This spring, NCS facilitated a conversation among former educators including John Snyder and Patsy Seay about how schools impact the community and lives of the educators themselves