AUSTIN, Texas -- A new program for Texas middle school students is helping them get an idea of what job they might want to do in the future before they start high school.

  • Program is state funded
  • Created in 2015
  • Middle school program added this year

The state-funded program was created in 2015 to help students pick which state-mandated endorsement they are interested in. This year a middle school program, known as MiddleGalaxy, was added. MiddleGalaxy is a game that teaches students about different jobs and the skills needed, in order that they can pick their endorsement for high school.

In turn, they hopefully enter high school with a clearer path.

"It not really about tracking students. It's more about opening students’ minds [and] having them explore different careers. They can also put together a course plan through high school that includes the endorsements and the courses that are provided at their selected high school,” said Allison Rizzolo, of Texas OnCourse.

Lucas Romo-Loomis and his twin brother, Adrian, are in the eighth grade. The two were introduced to the program by their school counselor.

"I knew I wanted to something in math," said Lucas. "This kind of helped me to narrow down those options."

MiddleGalaxy helped the two students narrow down what endorsement they would pursue in high school and what their future careers could look like.

"It just sparks that interest and lets them see the way that all of this connects together. This program gives the opportunity just to think ahead to look and think ahead. Things that they didn't know existed,” said Jennifer Pugh, the boys' counselor. 

Lucas plans to work in finance and his brother wants to be an engineer. The two students find comfort in being able to explore those options before having to make some big decisions.