The students at the Floyd County College and Career Academy brought a burst of smiles to the Exchange Club of Rome’s monthly meeting on Friday.

About 12 students spoke to the club members at The Palladium on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on Friday. They spoke of their experience at the academy and how it has prepared them for college and the real adult world.

“I can tell you right now that Georgia Power, Southeastern Mills … Oglethorpe Power ... are at the academy interviewing our students,” said Floyd CCA CEO Eric Waters.

“When I asked myself ‘what is your passion?’ It always came back to kids,” said senior Kaylea Talton, who is in the teaching pathway. Every other Monday, she goes into a school and assists with teaching and creating crafts with the students.

Students who attend the Floyd County College and Career Academy can be considered as dual enrollment students.

This means that they take high school and college level courses. The college level courses can later count as transfer credits at many colleges. They also attend high schools across the county, like Coosa and Model High Schools.

Joshua Barrett, who focuses on game design at the CCA, said that he feels like the academy offers an individualized learning experience.

“You’re not just a student, you’re not just a number,” he told the crowd. “They (the teachers) want to help you. When you fail, they’ll pick you back out and it’s not ‘You fail. Here’s an F.’ It’s ‘You’re not doing too well, how can I build you back up?’”

Waters emphasized the fact that the digital design program is less than 3 years old.

However, he felt it was necessary to include because of Georgia’s booming entertainment industry, which brings thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the state economy.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia’s film industry handed out more tax credits than anyone else in the world except the U.K.

“It’s amazing that we make more movies here in Georgia than we do in Hollywood,” Waters said to the crowd. “It’s about jobs.”

In 2018, the Floyd County College and Career Academy was recognized as the College and Career Academy of the year in 2018.

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