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 Community Members Support RPS 205 Freshman Career Exploration

1/16/2019 12:00 AM

​Women represent less than 30 percent of the manufacturing workers in our country, while men make up only 9.6 percent of nurses in the field. Over the last five-to-six years, we’ve noticed that our high schools mirror the national statistics: predominantly more males choose the Production Academy, and more girls choose the Health Academy. Why? Because that’s what they know. That’s what they see in their families, in our hospitals and medical centers, and on construction sites in our region and beyond.

At Rockford Public Schools, we’re working diligently to provide experiences for high school students to explore the careers in our region. The College and Career Academies of Rockford allow students to participate in an interest-based themed Academy and pathway from grades 10-12. High school Academies provide real world experiences in and out of the classroom and connect students to local employers. While we know Academies aren’t necessarily going to help all students determine what they want to do for the rest of their lives, it is important for them to find out what they’re interested in so we can leverage that interest and turn it into engagement. 

In December at Guilford High School, freshman boys met with Andrew Koenig, Athletic Trainer at OSF St. Anthony Health Medical Center, and Dr. Kevin Rynn, Pharmacist at UIC College of Medicine Rockford, to learn more about careers in health care. Dr. Rynn told a story of a young girl who was hit by an arrow from a bow, and referenced the knowledge needed to determine dosage based on the height and weight of the patient. Mr. Koenig shared an experience when he stabilized the leg of a Division I college football player after an injury. Both examples elicited verbal and physical responses from the boys. Girls also had the opportunity to meet with several women from Collins Aerospace, including engineers Kimmy Callan, Dawn Charleston, Lakithia Williams, Sara Dexter, Nicole Nelson, Coralyn Saxby and Erin Walton. Thank you to our community partners for continuing to bring relevance and experience to our schools! 

Freshman Evan Click, Mason Smith and Jarmoro Bean attend the Health Academy Diversity Panel.
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