Brought To You By Rapides Parish School Board
Part of the Rapides Parish School Board’s vision is to “elevate our people to their maximum potential”. An express goal of that phrase is to prepare students for their next steps after high school. In doing so, students can reach their potential and positively impact our community and our world.
After community members Sterling Brown and Dominique Teasley met with a group of students from Peabody Magnet High School, they felt compelled to connect the students to more opportunities. They specifically wanted them to have opportunities that would allow them to experience a better future and create positive change.
So to continue elevating students, Superintendent Jeff Powell, leaders from Peabody Magnet High School, and several business and industry partners joined forces to mentor and develop high school juniors. The goal is to connect with them as juniors, so more meaningful relationships can be fostered prior to graduation. This initiative is also in partnership with the Alexandria Police Jury’s Workforce Development Program.
“We’ve realized that the students we have sitting in our classrooms are the answer to the workforce needs of tomorrow…the excitement we’ve experienced from both the students and the businesses shows that we have begun to tap into the tremendous potential of our community. This initiative is one of the best examples of how we are showing the world that Rapides Parish is truly better together,” Superintendent Jeff Powell says.
Since last October, students have met with employers and have been mentored by them. Each month, students either travel to the industry partner’s site, or they stay on campus at Peabody and work with their mentors.
These mentors range from human resource specialists to registered nurses to firefighters. Their expertise is far-reaching and their commitment to helping students is seen in their sacrifice of time, the amount of scholarships granted, and the many experiences shared.
“This is going to impact the community in a ridiculously positive way, and the fact that they’re getting those students ready; those expectations for entering the workforce are going to be clear,” said Rose Killion, Southern Region DEI Coordinator at Boise Cascade.
This summer, students will have the opportunity to work for the companies or businesses for four weeks. The goal for the initiative is to have juniors who are connected to a career path, and upon their graduation as seniors, they are ready for employment.