SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A new initiative is helping address the teacher shortage while getting young people exposure to the classroom in hopes of a future in education.

Friday, those interested in the program were able to sign up for the chance to become a classroom aid.

The program is aimed at relieving teacher shortages while pairing up underpaid teacher aides in a unique “grow your own educators” partnership.

The hope is to stabilize classrooms and needs by having aides in the classroom who are also learning at the same time.

“Obviously we would love to see a number of these ‘paras’ go on into post-secondary and pursue teaching certificates,” said Cynthia Holz with Salt Lake City School District.

The program partners with the University of Utah, Salt Lake City School District, and Salt Lake Community College among others.