“What’s a typical day like on your job?”
“Did you know you were going to be doing this when you were my age?”
“What do students enjoy most about your college?”
These were some of the questions you could overhear students ask community partners at the Evanston Academy back-to-school event. In addition to officially kicking off the school’s new Vision 2020 program, Career Awareness and Exploration, families and students could network with professionals and representatives from more than 15 businesses and colleges to learn about what they do.
“We want our students to leave Cincinnati Public Schools ready to do something that they love and that they can pursue to support themselves,” said Principal Stacey Hill-Simmons in her remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “In order to do that we have to put in front of them a wide variety of options so they can make the most informed decision.”
Evanston Academy is one of six schools launching a new specialized program for the 2018-19 academic year through CPS’ Vision 2020: My Tomorrow initiative. The Career Awareness and Exploration program allows students from grades PreK-6 to learn about potential career pathways across four categories — health care, human services, arts and communications, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). Students will work on projects related to different careers and have access to mentors, job shadowing experiences and other resources to kick-start their future plans.
The back-to-school event was set up like a career expo not unlike the one many CPS students experience in their junior year of high school. Brittany Cousins, career-based learning curriculum manager at CPS, said the intentional setting was to help students get used to an environment in which they’ll have to engage in conversation, oftentimes introducing themselves to professionals they don’t know.
“Networking can be intimidating,” said Cousins, career employment manager at CPS. “But with practice, and especially with starting early, it will be second nature to them no matter what they pursue.”
Evanston Academy has many strong community partnerships that help with academic and after-school initiatives throughout the year. Partners present at the back-to-school event included:
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
- Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
- Evanston Community Council
- Evanston Recreation Center
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Kenwood Rehabilitation Services
- King Studios Traveling Suitcases
- Lighthouse Youth Services
- Mom Day Care Services
- Vettikkal, engineer, and Ann Vettikkal, book author
- Nike Factory Store Outlet
- Peggy’s Precious Angels Daycare and Learning Center
- The Heart Institute of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center
- Western & Southern
- Xavier University