Future Ready Leaders (FRL) kicked off its third year of programming in November by bringing together school teams from nine participating districts. In this program, district teams work together to cultivate student leadership in ways that support future readiness for all students in their schools. This network of teams, made up of students working alongside educators, spent time learning about the many components of future readiness and planning next steps in their projects to impact peers.
“The day was full of human-centered design activities that allowed students to think about what skills and experiences students need to be successful in their future careers,” said Director of Organizational Strategy and Special Projects Jenn Sethman. In cross-district teams, students brainstormed what they want to know about life after high school. Teagan, a student from Hampton, shared that her team discussed how “eye-opening experiences” are essential for students to make informed decisions about their futures.
Teams from returning districts shared successes from the 2022-23 school year. South Allegheny students Abby, Josh and Abigail shared how their student-led workshops focused on college applications and scholarships to help peers plan for the future. Their projects also included a Gone in 60 Seconds video series that highlighted the variety of plans after graduation. Montour students Zoe, Gwen, and Anthony shared how their team designed and executed a Future Readiness Fair for students that featured businesses, post-secondary programs and community opportunities.
As in the past, school-business partnerships will play a critical role in this year’s program. Throughout the school year, teams will have the chance to attend site visits at partnering businesses and post-secondary institutions. These visits allow students and educators to hear about opportunities in various industries, learn about in-demand jobs, and the variety of career pathways available. In December, students will visit Google to take a tour, engage with a panel of professionals, and then experience a day in the life of a Google employee. Visits to the Ironworkers Local #3, St. Vincent College, ARM Robotics, PennDOT, and UPMC are scheduled in the new year.
To further encourage school-business partnerships, the Consortium will include special presentations at each of the three network meetings. Gina Barrett, Director of Partnerships at the Consortium, invited representatives from Carnegie Mellon University to talk about the college application process and present STEM resources available through the Leonard Gelfand Center.
Teams will meet again in January to share their work to date and get feedback from the network. Re:Build Manufacturing will be on hand to discuss career opportunities in manufacturing.
In addition to Montour and South Allegheny, districts participating in FRL this year include Allegheny Valley, Brownsville Area, California Area, Cornell, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton Township, and Gateway.
Visit our website to learn more about the Future Ready Leaders program and how you can get involved.