FORT MYERS, Fla.- Thanks to a rare partnership between Microsoft and Dunbar High School, students are getting an edge in the job market.
"I'm gonna get a little technical here. So I'll warn you," said Daniel Westrick.
You could say Daniel Westrick is getting very technical. He's a Junior at Dunbar High School and he's earned computer credentials that some college students don't have.
"It's a race to getting your job. It's a race against everybody else and this academy has jump started me," he said.
Westrick and classmate Aimee Jasso are speaking to the Fort Myers Rotary Club about the Microsoft Certification Program.
"It was a lot of hands on and a lot of technical knowledge. I felt very prepared for the job, having the certifications that I earned through the school," said Jasso.
Jasso is an information technology intern at Chico's. Once she graduates, she'll continue to work there and go to college.
"Students aren't just going to high school to get a high school diploma, they're actually going to high school and are going to be able readied citizens," said Instructor Denise Spence.
Spence says Microsoft chose Dunbar High School for the program five years ago. Since then more than 200 students have gained multiple certifications. Other schools want to be like them and businesses want to hire them.
"With our economy you need to tap into as many ways to get yourself marketable as you can and why not do it through information technology?" she said.
Any Lee County student is eligible to attend but it's such a sought after program, that applications come from as far away as Illinois. DHS has to inform them that unless the applicant is moving to Lee County, they can not attend.