Taking Flight: West Florence student Barnett books job using drone certification
For Emily Barnett, the drone certification course at West Florence High School is really paying off. Barnett is the first Florence 1 Schools student to be paid to use their drone operating skills. Jean Leatherman of ERA Leatherman Realty contracted with Barnett to use the drone to take aerial photos for a house listing for her agency.
“You did a great job,” Leatherman told Barnett when presenting her with a check October 9 at West Florence.
Leatherman also said that her company would be contracting with Barnett, or possibly another student based on availability, to get photos taken of other listings.
Barnett said that she decided to take the drone certification course because it was something new and interesting.
“We had the opportunity to do something that other students don’t usually do and it is kind of a small business that not a lot of people are aware of or very educated in,” Barnett said. “It was a very cool opportunity to have this experience, especially through our school.”
She said when she first arrived to take the photos she was a little bit nervous but quickly got more comfortable as she went along.
“It was a little bit nerve wracking but at the same time we had done a lot of practice in class and I had somebody there helping me a little bit at first,” Barnett said. “After I did a little bit it got easier. It is kind of amazing that the pictures I took could influence how somebody might want to buy a house or might not want a house. It was a really cool experience.”
Barnett said that after graduating from high school she wants to attend Clemson University.
“Engineering it what I am planning to major in in college so this is definitely helping me prepare for those kinds of classes and things that I could possibly do in my future,” she said.
Chris Rogers, Florence 1 Director of STEM, said that he was ecstatic that in such a short period of time, paying jobs are already becoming available for students.
“Emily took a 16-week course at West Florence and she is now making money taking drone photos,” Rogers said. “These are the outcomes that we always hope for when we introduce our students to innovative coursework. We are very appreciative of the companies that are interested in working with our students in this venture.