School districts honor 30 RWL Business Champions at the Get on the Bus luncheon

Real World Learning schools honored more than 30 business and partner champions at the Get on The Bus Real World Learning Partner luncheon on Feb 8, 2023. Each school shared what makes this business partner a true champion in providing real-world opportunities to all high school students. See what they had to say.

2A Marketing | Recognized by Belton High School

Chris Hagan is the President of Sales at 2A Marketing, focusing on creative and unique marketing campaigns like “The Freedom & Honor Walk”.  The program will help benefit “Folds of Honor” and provide scholarships for deserving kids across the country.  Chris is also a member of Youth Speaker University and invests his time speaking to the next generation to motivate them toward their goals. 

The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City | Recognized by Hickman Mills School District

Damron Armstrong from the Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City is passionate about inspiring our young people to embrace their stories and culture through Performing Arts. He has been integral in developing the South Kansas City Performing Arts Academy, where students from Grandview, Ruskin, and Center come together monthly to learn from industry professionals and write their own original works of art. Damron is a champion for our students. 

Centerpoint Medical Center of Independence | Recognized by Fort Osage High School

Mr. Kolman and Ms. Carter have been wonderful partners facilitating RWL for students at Fort Osage. They have allowed our juniors and seniors to intern throughout the hospital and provide employment opportunities after graduation. Centerpoint provides one-on-one with students to match them with different departments throughout the hospital based on their career goals, as well as, client-connected projects and career exploration opportunities. 

City of Kansas City Water Services Department | Kanas City Public Schools

As students transition through the Waste Water Management program, students visit multiple water treatment sites to learn more about their future career paths.  Deputy Director Herring, and other key leaders in the department, regularly meet with students and provide field trips and other real world learning experiences that allow students to be exposed to what this program and career can provide for them. In the past three years, multiple students have continued with this career opportunity. They have ensured opportunities for KCPS students to begin careers as treatment plant operators upon graduation.  

CSD Credit Union and the North Kansas City Business Council | North Kansas City Schools

Rich Groves and Edward Watts currently lead the NKC Schools Pathway Advisory Board for our Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship pathway. They have been a driving force behind the district’s Real World Learning efforts. With their support this year, NKC Schools was able to host teacher externships, mock interviews, guest speakers, and manufacturing plant tours. Their support, feedback, and leadership in developing meaningful experiences are priceless to our community. We couldn’t do this work without them!

Dynamic Consultants Group | Blue Valley High School

William comes to CAPS each Friday and works with a team of students on a client connected project that he is sponsoring. Additionally, he is the point person for a team that is interning with his company. He is a powerful ambassador for our program and provides much-appreciated mentorship and technical expertise. He is a model mentor and a great champion for tech careers.

Global One Urban Farm | KIPP Legacy High School

Global One Urban Farming has  provided Real World Learning opportunities for students to explore different pathways. Star is highly dedicated to the community and students. She shares her passion for creation with students by not only helping students learn urban farming but also sharing ideas on sustainable living through construction, cooking, and sewing. She gets students excited about a program that doesn’t always welcome children of color. 

Honeywell | Grandview School District

Hustle & Ground | Blue Valley High School

Semester after semester, Joy provides robust CCPs for our Global Business and Digital Design & Photography classes. She is a master of “right-sizing” projects. Her student-centric project management and communication skills are 2nd to none.She’s flexible based on our crazy schedules and still delivers meaningful learning opportunities, real-world business challenges, and client projects.

Independence Chamber of Commerce | Independence School District

Lynne Baker opens the door to possibilities for RWL experiences by facilitating business partnerships in the Independence School District.  She secures monthly guest speakers for each pathway in our five career academies for all high school students and works to provide job shadowing and internship opportunities.  She is an invaluable asset to our high school academies and our school district.

The Learning Club | Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

The Learning Club provides authentic after-school and paid Teaching Internships for KCKPS students.  This year, their internship program is hosting 85 interns from our high schools as well as developing a Internship course to qualifying high school seniors interested in pursuing education as a career. They have been a flexible, innovative, and eager partner in encouraging teaching as a profession and supporting our work-based learning initiatives. 

Liberty Education Foundation | Liberty Public Schools

The Liberty Education Foundation has provided RWL internships for Network53 students and has also provided support for dozens of innovations. Over their 25-year history, they have provided over 700 classrooms, schools, and student grants to enrich learning. Their partnership has provided so much to students, staff, and families.  We are so fortunate to have their support. 

JCI Industries, Inc. | Lee’s Summit School District

Kansas City Zoo | Raymore-Peculiar School District

The Zoo has participated in client connected projects that have been immersive experiences for our students. They have stepped up as guest speakers and panelists for different topics, always sending us the appropriate person to engage different types of learners.  Aubrye  has always provided an opportunity or resource to fill our needs. They have been the hosts for client connected projects, externships for science teachers, and guest speakers.

Kearney Fire Department | Kearney School District

Kearney Fire Department consistently works with our schools in an effort to provide RWL opportunities for students. They show up to our elementary schools for events, they partner with us on College and Career Fairs, and they are working with Kearney High School to offer internship opportunities and EMT certification. The department is also working with our Human Geography class to provide a client-connected project experience.

Nebraska Furniture Mart | Piper School District

Nebraska Furniture Mart is committed to strengthening the communities that they call home.  Each year, students in the Applied Business Development course have teamed up with NFM employees to tackle a relevant challenge within the company. This industry connection has helped students understand the business world and provide opportunities to strengthen their employability skills. We look forward to continuing to partner in preparing our students to be #FutureReady. 

Newkirk Novak Construction Partners | Shawnee Mission

John and his team always put the students first and have been supporting Real World Learning with mentoring and internships. The internship experience they provide is the definition of robust as students experience all aspects of the construction business, from being in the field to rotating through all the support departments. The most impactful experience is when students actively participate in business presentations to clients. Newkirk Novak serves on our Corporate Council and financially supports RWL.

Olathe Health | Olathe Public Schools 

Operation Breakthrough | Hogan Preparatory High School

Mary Esselman and the facilitators at the Ignition Lab at Operation Breakthrough provide many real world learning experiences. Hogan students choose a pathway and are able to participate in guest speakers, client-connected capstone projects, and internships. Hogan 5th-8th grade students have been given the opportunity to experience STEM pathways in their Maker Space. This partnership provides life-changing opportunities for our students and we are truly thankful!

Overland Park Fire Department | Blue Valley HIgh School

The Overland Park Fire Department has rolled out the red carpet for Blue Valley students. They transitioned a space at the Fire Training Center into a classroom for students, and designated personnel from their fire training division to work directly with students. They created a professional environment while fostering a high level of learning related to the fire service and workplace skills.

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative | Smithville

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative (PCEC) never hesitates to support our students in RWL efforts.  PCEC representatives serve as “shark tank” panelists to help students earn an entrepreneurial MVA. They’re also committed to helping our students identify opportunities and career interests by sending their linemen to speak with students at career day events. They are passionate about providing opportunities that will help our students be successful, and their entire organization is a dream to work with.

POAC Succeed | Crossroads Charter Schools

Prep-KC | South KC Micro-region + Blue Valley

Prep-KC is the “glue” that keeps the South Kansas City Micro-region moving forward. Since the Real World Learning pilot grant year, they have been an integral thought partner in developing the Center/Grandview/Ruskin shared pathways. Their expertise and encouragement have an invaluable impact on the over 2500 high school students across our three districts.

Quest Diagnostics | USD 232 DeSoto School District

Doug Hamilton exemplifies career-focused leadership at Quest Diagnostics.  He has always been a superior CTE Advisory Member by offering advice to our teachers and donating supplies and equipment. In addition, he offers our students field trips and tours of Quest.  With our Real World Learning partnership and Doug’s leadership, Quest is now offering internships to high school students.  USD 232 is grateful to have Quest Diagnostics as our business partner. 

Transition Zone (TZone) | Raytown 

Transition Zone provides our youth with regular guests, career speakers. and mentors—often individuals of color—who serve as sources of inspiration and aspiration for their personal life outcomes – allowing a more personal connection to their career choices.

University Health | Park Hill High School

University Health has hosted 107 aspiring medical professional students. Students have observed in many locations and accumulated approximately 55 hours of observation throughout the health system. Students also participated in the city-wide mass casualty drill as volunteers with University Health this past fall. Students and staff in the Professional Studies Program look forward to enjoying the classroom space and the ability to get real-world experiences.