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Giving Wings to College and Career Dreams

Mississippi Tour 2016 MarchStudents are more motivated to graduate from high school if they have aspirations. United Way’s LEARN WELL education initiative helps them see where hard work in middle and high school can take them.

Last month high school students in the United Way-funded Destination Diploma program were introduced to the high-demand aviation, transportation and logistics fields. About 350 students from five Fort Worth ISD high schools toured Tarrant County College’s Center for Excellence in Aviation, Transportation and Logistics at Alliance Airport. They learned about the education required for career success and explored booths and labs staffed by instructors and business and industry representatives. They also practiced interview skills with TCC career advisors and industry recruiters. The event was co-sponsored by Fort Worth ISD, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and United Way.

On the middle school level, Annette Cummings, one of the Fort Worth ISD College and Career Readiness Coaches funded by United Way, arranged for 46 students from J. Martin Jacquet Middle School (formerly Dunbar Middle) to tour three historically black colleges and universities in Mississippi. The middle schoolers met with students and saw college life up close at Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Tougaloo College.

See the tour video below

Handley_College Week IMG_1278 - Cropped - 249 widthAnnette began arranging college tours for middle school students in the United Way Middle School Tools program four years ago with a day trip to Baylor University. Through Middle School Tools, students learn about various career options and how to apply for college admission, scholarships and financial aid. Field trips to universities and businesses further motivate them to do their best in school to better prepare for the future.

During College Week at Handley Middle School, College and Career Coach Valencia Ivory introduced students to different careers and various extracurricular activities found on college campuses, such as Greek organizations. Just for fun, the students stuck their heads through a cardboard cap and gown (left) so they could “picture” themselves as graduates.