MINEVILLE - Desiree LaPointe wanted a career in business.
A Ticonderoga High School graduate, she was working at a bank when she realized the financial world wasn't what she expected.
"I had always thought about going into cosmetology," LaPointe said. "One day I realized I'd better do it now or I could miss my chance. I decided to go for it."
So LaPointe, a 2002 Ti High grad, enrolled at Champlain Valley Educational Services in Mineville. She's one of a handful of adults making career changes taking classes along with high school students.
"It's great that CV-Tec is here," LaPointe said. "This is a wonderful opportunity available locally. More people should take a look at it."
Darrilyn Johnson, a 2006 Ti High graduate, agrees. She's in the early childhood education program at CV-Tec.
"I'm a nanny for a family," Johnson said. "I thought it would open up more opportunities if I were to become a registered nanny or au pair. It's been great."
Johnson said when she first considered returning to school, she looked into classes at CV-Tec in Plattsburgh. The time and expense of making that trip was daunting.
"When I found out I could take the class in Mineville, everything got a lot easier," she said.
Katrina Johnson agreed. She's a 2004 Ti High graduate now studying building trades in Mineville.
"I wanted to go to Plattsburgh for the electrical program," she said. "But the trip was just too much."
Returning to school - and being around teens - can be challenging for adults, they agreed.
"At first it seems a little odd, but now they're my peers," she said. "We're all learning together."
"It's actually a lot of fun," Katrina Johnson said.
There are advantages to being an older student, they said. They are more mature and confident.
"This is what I really want to do," LaPointe said. "I'm a lot more focused now. I won't want to change anything in my life. I'm happy to be here."
Jamie Silver, counselor at the CV-Tech Mineville campus, would like to see more adults take advantage of the facility.
"We offer day and evening classes," Silver said. "People can come all day for a year or a half day for two years. They'll end up with a certificate or state license, depending on the program."
The Mineville campus now offers study in allied health, automotive technology, building trades, cosmetology, early childhood education and natural resource management for adults.
Tuition is $8,898 for a full-time student and $4,449 for a part-time student. Financial aid is available, Silver said.
CV-Tec in Mineville also offers evening adult education. Classes this fall include defensive driving, residential electricity, EKG technician training, phlebotomy technician training and welding.
Interested people can call Silver at 942-6691 or Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information is also available online at www.cves.org