This semester several New Albany High School students have embraced the concept of career readiness skills and are understanding the potential that internships have on future success in both college and the workforce. Parents, school officials, and community leaders have all helped in assuring that there are opportunities available that create bridge and summer programs for juniors and seniors.
The New Albany School District received grant funding in late 2017 for the purpose of implementing a pilot program called IMPACTO. IMPACTO (Industries as a Means to Prepare for Academic, Career, and Technology Opportunities) was presented to businesses and community leaders, as well as regional organizations in January 2018.
“Our community is to be commended and applauded for believing in our school district and supporting this project,” said Lance Evans, Superintendent. “Businesses and community leaders have been instrumental over the past year in helping us to implement a program of this magnitude.”
IMPACTO is a culminating career awareness project for high school juniors and seniors. It is a two-year program of study which includes a career readiness class, national work certifications, dual enrollment opportunities and ultimately, a paid summer internship program.
Thirteen junior students are a part of this pilot project. During the first semester, these students completed a career readiness class which included learning the importance of resume building, job interview skills, and leadership development. Students learned from guest speakers, participated in field trips, and completed a leadership course.
In addition, the students prepared for and took the ACT WorkKeys certification test. Students must attain a silver or above on this national test to participate in the internship project in the summer of 2019. The WorkKeys assessment focuses on applied math, graphic literacy, and workplace documents.
During the second semester, these students will enroll in a dual credit course where they receive high school credit and college hours for an introductory business applications course.
“It has been exciting to watch these students grow and learn the skills necessary to be successful in college and the workforce,” said Suzy Bowman, Career Coach. “Many of these students have already had their interview and are secured with their internship partners for a positive summer experience.”
Bowman is helping to facilitate the IMPACTO program and is working directly with IMPACTO participants to help them transition successfully into the internship program.
Funding for this pilot project has been made possible through partnerships with Toyota Wellspring Education Fund, CREATE, and Three Rivers Planning & Development District.