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ReNew Accelerated High School’s Career Center

March 21, 2012

By Jasmine Pusser, Corps Member Proudly Serving at ReNew Accelerated High School

Over the past few months, the City Year team serving at ReNew Accelerated High School has had the opportunity to bring what was once a “crazy idea” to life.

ReNew Accelerated High School is a public charter school that was opened this year in response to the large number of students in New Orleans who are two or more years behind grade level. RAHS’s accelerated curriculum was designed to move the students through high school in half the time, making graduation possible in 2 years.

Many of our students have high aspirations, but within a few weeks of service, we quickly realized that the obstacles to their goals were more than course credits; they lacked skills that could not be directly taught in the classroom: how to present themselves to a future employer in an interview, how to articulate their skills and goals, and how to dress professionally, the prerequisites of a successful life.

Our big opportunity to influence our school culture came in late October with the Crazy Idea Dinner.  The “Crazy Idea Dinner” was the chance to advocate for our students, and to design and implement a program that would directly benefit them.

Our team’s idea was a Future Center where students would be able to learn all the essential information for their next step.  The center would be a place where students could come to obtain information about not only what to do in the future, but also, how. Corps members would not only give students ACT books and college applications, they would show them how to fill them out, holding them to deadlines, and set short-term and long-term goals.

As corps members, we are often that primary contact, making sure our students do their homework and study for tests. With this center, corps members could combine their skills with outside resources to be that support system needed to get our kids out of high school and in to college or the workforce.  At the dinner we received $1,500 to make our vision a reality!

Fast forward to today, the third month of the Future Center, and there has been a visible shift in student interest and investment in their future. In addition to individualized student planning and goal setting, corps members have hosted several after school workshops on envisioning and achieving goals, resume writing, and professional conduct.

As an additional part of this project, our team also planned and implemented a Career Day featuring 16 New Orleans professionals speaking on a diverse range of careers and backgrounds. The addition of a college/career center and fair, though seemingly customary in a high school setting, have been unique, eye-opening and rewarding experiences for our students that have allowed us to change the landscape of our school for the better. Not only is our school’s staff extremely proud of our success, our students are gaining practical knowledge that will benefit them in all their endeavors!

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 30, 2012 9:44 pm

    Im happy that City Year is doing this great thing for Accelerated High. Im sure the students is really appreciative of it!

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