We Are EVIT Family: Two sisters, two career paths
Posted on 09/24/2018
Mesa sisters find success in The Culinary School at EVIT and School of Health Sciences at the East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, AZ. Rachael Litwiller, 19, wants to own and operate a farm-to-table restaurant or maybe a food truck. Sister Katy Litwiller, 18, is interested in health care, loves music and would love to find a way to combine the two in music therapy. They have different dreams and goals, but through EVIT, they are finding their own unique pathways to a career they can love.

The Litwillers of Mesa are part of a growing group at the East Valley Institute of Technology: Families who are sending more than one child to EVIT’s central campuses for advanced career training. Last year, 59 families enrolled multiple students at the central campuses; this year, 75 families have more than one child enrolled.

EVIT is both a school – EVIT Career and College Prep with two central campuses in Mesa and branch campuses in Apache Junction and Fountain Hills – and EVIT Career Technical Education District (CTED), which also funds CTE programs in high schools operated by East Valley school districts. 

EVIT’s central and branch campuses currently have over 4,000 high school students enrolled in one of more than 40 programs, such as Aviation, Construction, a variety of health care programs and much more. Approximately 500 adults are also enrolled. East Valley high school students attend tuition-free; adults pay tuition, with financial aid available for those who qualify.

Nearly every EVIT program prepares students to earn a professional license or industry certification. Most programs also include college credit through community colleges and other post-secondary schools.

When the Litwillers of Mesa learned about EVIT, daughter, Rachael, was attending Primavera charter school. “Rachael only dreamed of culinary school, but the cost was out of reach,” her mother, Jenny Litwiller said. But by enrolling in The Culinary Arts School at EVIT, Rachael got advanced culinary training that resulted in her winning a $120,000 scholarship to attend Johnson & Wales University. She is now in a culinary internship at Disney World in Florida.

“I would like other potential students to know that no matter what your interests are, EVIT is a program to consider,” Rachael said. “The experience and knowledge they offer to their students is incomparable.”

Her sister, Katy, is enrolled in the Medical Assistant program at the EVIT East Campus. “Every day is a new adventure in the program, and it is obvious as a parent, that her teacher really motivates the kids to learn and succeed,” her mother said.

“It is a lot of hard work, but I know that it will pay off,” Katy said. “It is a great way to kick-start your career and learn valuable skills in your field.”

When the Arizona Educational Foundation honored EVIT as an A+ School of Excellence in 2015, judges noted: “This school serves such a meaningful purpose that resonates with students and parents profoundly.” Today, nearly 9 out of 10 EVIT parents say they would recommend EVIT to other families.

Jenny Litwiller said: “Just the fact that the kids walk out with the skill set and certification to apply for jobs, or take the skills on to college for a specific career, is worth so much.”

EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate, 2 out of 3 go on to college, and 92% are in college, jobs or the military within one year of their training. Learn more: www.evit.com

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We Are EVIT Family: Two sisters, two career pathways

EVIT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation in its programs or activities. CTE program offerings include: Arts, Audio/Video Technology & Communications; Auto & Transportation Services; Construction Technologies; Culinary Arts & Hospitality; Education; Engineering; Health Sciences; Human Services; Information Technology; Manufacturing Trades; and Public Safety. For a full listing of programs, go to evit.com/programs. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in EVIT CTE programs. The following employees have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Title IX/Title VII/EEOC Coordinator, EVIT Superintendent, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201 or call (480) 461-4000, or by email at superintendent@evit.com; Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tony Niccum, STEPS, 1601 W. Main St., Mesa, AZ 85201, or call (480) 461-4154 or by email tniccum@evit.com

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