AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Association of School Boards is working to encourage more area schools and businesses to build partnerships in an effort to give more students hands on experience in local careers.
On April 27, the association held a business and education forum in Amarillo for Texas Panhandle and South Plains representatives and community members. Here, they shared how they introduce students to area careers and how other schools can improve their efforts.
"These partnerships are giving these students an opportunity to see early in life, that there are good jobs out there locally," said Jimmie Don Aycock, Former House Public Education Committee Chairman. "There are jobs that are in high demand and have high success rates. Student can learn that there are great earnings and great job opportunities."
More than 300 businesses and organizations in Amarillo and Canyon are partnering with area schools to provide programs or internships, and the association says this model is what they want to encourage more rural schools to follow.
"When students work with us, we look to be the bridge, to instill good work ethic in them and then really encourage them to pursue higher education," said Jennifer Barala, Fiesta Grande VP.
One of the more popular initiatives in Amarillo is No Limits No Excuses. Schools and businesses make up No Limits No Excuses to encourage young adults to not only look into area careers, but to also complete at least their post secondary education.
"I think it's important that people know that everybody has a part to play in the education of a child," said Dr. Dana West, Amarillo ISD superintendent. "It can be as simple as asking a child, what are your plans? When you find out what the child wants to do, then it's your responsibility as an adult to help them, to put that plan into action and to help them achieve their dreams."
Amarillo ISD also has a program that businesses and parents can use to help their students. The districts Pursuing Real Opportunities or PRO program, helps pair students with area mentors in their preferred field of interest.