Friday, January 31, 2014

WAIS Juniors Participate in JA Job Shadow Week

In January, 138 Westchester Academy for International Studies (WAIS) 11th graders spent three days gaining exposure to various career paths. From Microsoft to Memorial Hermann, Phillips 66 to SBISD’s own Lion Lane School, students traveled across Houston to learn about career research and preparation, job-hunting tools, professionalism and ethics in the workplace and professional action plans.

This is the second year WAIS has offered such a job shadow week to their students. Growing on the strengths of their program last year, WAIS partnered with Junior Achievement this year to develop four industry tracks and supporting job shadow visits within each one.

Tracks this year included: Information Technology, Service & Education, Engineering & Business, and Health. Tracks were developed based on students’ career cluster results provided by student survey results. Students selected one career visit within each of the tracks each day.

The week culminated with all 138 juniors attending and participating in JA’s Finance Park, a financial literacy center where students immerse themselves in a reality-based decision-making process addressing specific aspects of individual and family budgeting, including housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, investments, philanthropy and banking.

Director of WAIS, Jennifer Collier, continues to support and endorse the Job Shadow Week experience because of its deep alignment to the district’s and school’s T-2-4 goal.

“Students were given a variety of unique experiences and opportunities throughout the week which help them to make crucial decisions about their future,” says Collier.

“WAIS would like to thank all of the business and industry partners for allowing our students to come and learn about their careers and expand their knowledge of the ‘real world’ after high school.This experience is one that the students and faculty who were fortunate enough to participate will never forget.”

Experiences such as these support the work SBISD teachers are doing each day to ensure all of our students are prepared for higher education success and understand the opportunities available to them.

As the WAIS juniors move through their second semester and into their senior year, understanding the myriad of career options that lie ahead of them helps make their path more meaningful, targeted, and ultimately, successful for each student.


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