I am Staci Franz and I am the Human Resources Director of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). INHS partners with Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) and Business AfterSchool to focus on career connected learning to help build the next generation workforce. Providing opportunities for students to learn about different pathways, especially in healthcare, engages their hearts and minds so they can look towards a future after high school.
As a business leader, it is important to engage and partner with our education leaders for the success of our community. These workshops open students’ minds to different pathways to further education after high school.
I am Millea Rosario and I am a junior at Inchelium High School in Inchelium, Washington. Business AfterSchool has helped me broaden my knowledge about careers and narrow down my career interests. I started coming to these workshops about two years ago to learn about the variety of industries. I tended to sit on the sidelines during the workshops and never really asked questions or took the action to learn more. Since then, the workshops have helped me narrow my interests to the healthcare industry and now I have been more intentional with asking questions to learn about different careers and opportunities.
My advice to other students is to attend all of the workshops you can. They really helped me narrow down my choices for a career path and provided me with a lot of knowledge.
I am Joe McCollum and I teach Project Lead The Way (PLTW) BioMed in the Central Valley School District. I bring students to a variety of different workshops because it allows them to focus on careers and pathways instead of simply learning the curriculum I teach. At Business AfterSchool, they are immersed in the workplace setting which makes the learning more realistic. The students are then able to gain an inside view to what day-to-day responsibilities and roles actually look like.
Truly being able to get kids in the field has opened their eyes to other STEM opportunities than they once may have thought. It wakes them up to reality. I remember a few students were set on going into Pathology, but when they saw and learned that what pathologists do all day is mainly sit at a microscope and diagnose diseases, they realized that they didn’t want to do that for their career.
I am Christina Seymour and I am the Gear Up Coordinator at Inchelium High School in Inchelium, Washington. We live more than two hours away from where all of the Business AfterSchool workshops are held, but I drive my students this far because I strongly believe that career awareness and exposure is exactly what they need in high school. We do not have access to a variety of careers in our rural town, so by attending these events my students are shown different ways their interests can be applied to a future profession. Many students have even taken what they’ve learned from Business AfterSchool and done their senior project around that industry or career.
Business AfterSchool also allows me to connect with business professionals for internships, classroom speaking and other helpful industry guidance. I have become better informed about careers and local companies while learning how I can better guide my students as they prepare for life after high school.
I am Maura Ruiz and I am a College Success Foundation College Prep Advisor at Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane, Washington. I bring students to Business AfterSchool workshops so they can get a hands-on perspective of careers, learn about different opportunities and network with the community to find role models. It is important to expose students to different careers makes them more authentic and relevant. Participating in the workshops also makes the learning process more applicable for students.
I see my students’ eyes twinkle all the time at these workshops because they’re learning something new and exciting. I personally like learning about what is out there at these workshops because it makes me want to go to school again!
I am Jason Aldrich and I am a Science teacher at Lind-Ritzville high school. I am also the STEM club advisor at our high school and we have 15-20 active students attend. I drive more than two hours round trip to bring my students to Business AfterSchool because I believe that giving them the opportunity to see what else is out there is important to their personal and academic growth. Attending these workshops forces them out of their bubble and gives them a glimpse into what they could be doing in their future.
I am Teresa Dugger and I am an Associate Geotechnical Engineer at GeoEngineers in Spokane, Washington. My company and I believe in the importance of hosting Business AfterSchool workshops because it exposes students to the world of engineering and how they can apply what they are learning in the classroom. When I was in high school, my first exposure to engineering was with one of my teacher who was formerly a NASA scientist. He told me that if I never wanted to look for a job, then I should be an engineer. Because I had a mentor like that, I now want to be that initiator for students in our community.
We don’t think of our profession as glamorous. We are sometimes nervous of how it will be perceived by students at these workshops. But having that one or two students who really engaged makes it all worth it.