Juliana Unger is quick with a knife…if you are a chicken.
Juliana became the Action Skills State Champion at the Michigan SkillsUSA competition in Grand Rapids earlier this month. She “fabricated” a chicken – slicing a whole bird into specialized portions – in five minutes.
Those five minutes earned Juliana a partial scholarship to Sullivan University’s culinary program in Louisville, Kentucky, and a chance to compete for a full scholarship at the nationals this June.
Sullivan is Juliana’s dream school, but she shelved it due to expenses, electing the Grand Rapids Community College’s culinary program. Now, she is undecided.
“If I do score high, I might go to Sullivan,” Juliana said.
Juliana has always loved cooking, making meals for her family. Her passion, combine with skills she’s learned at the Calhoun Area Career Center, has become a career.
“I want to be a chef or own my own catering business,” Juliana said.
Lucas Jeske has always been drawn to nature. A career as a conservation officer just fits.
“When I was younger I would pack some snacks and drinks and I would wander off into the woods,” Lucas said. “I never knew that what I am most passionate about would end up being what I do as my job.”
Lucas is shadowing a Department of Natural Resources officer for his senior internship. He enjoys the work and the perks.
“…while I’m on the job, I can scout for good fishing and hunting areas,” Lucas said.
Lucas plans to study natural resource sciences in college, upping his odds in this competitive field.
“Anything that gives you that extra boost may be the difference between a job and no job,” Lucas said. “I’m just a guy that loves the outdoors and wants to dedicate his life to preserving it for the generations to come.”
Joshua Klavinski is a military man.
“I’ve always been interested in the military, ever since the third grade,” Joshua said. “I never really considered anything else.”
Some of his influences came from friends.
“I had a lot of friends growing up [who had] family in the military,” Joshua said. “I just thought it was really cool what they did.”
Some of his influences came from his experience with the Civil Air Patrol in Battel Creek, where youths ages 12-19 learn to fly, hike, and drill. Joshua holds the rank of Cadet Airman, with one orientation flight under his belt.
“I got to fly a Cessna, a little two-seater plane,” Joshua said, an experience he describes as terrifying and exciting.
Josh plans to enlist in the Navy after graduation.
“I don’t really know yet what I want to do in the navy,” Joshua said. “I just know I want to enlist.”
Grant Hallacy wants to stay in uniform.
This decorated Eagle Scout plans to be a military lawyer. Interning with a JAG attorney on the Air National Guard base has him well on his way.
“We had to put our thinking caps on,” Debbie Evans, senior internship teacher, said. “[Grant] had to jump through a lot of hoops to get on the base.”
One of those hoops is not being called an intern despite doing paralegal work.
“They can’t technically have interns, they have to have volunteers,” Grant said. “Pretty much they call me a volunteer and it works out.”
Grant will attend Kellogg Community College this fall, completing his bachelor degree at Western Michigan University. The Navy will pay for law school in exchange for Grant’s service.
“I planned on going in for a number of years anyway, so it just helps out that they pay for it,” Grant said.