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Experienceship Kickoff creates student opportunities through strong community partnerships

Real-world professional development experiences for students

Hundreds of Forest Hills School District students, families and community partners are preparing to begin a new year of the Experienceship program. An introduction event Tuesday night at Anderson High School helped connect students with local business leaders offering invaluable professional experiences.

“We at Forest Hills are always looking for ways to give our students a step up,” Turpin High School Principal David Spencer said.

Experienceship is a personalized learning program that meets the standards of the Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seal. Students are able to experience career opportunities in a variety of ways that best fit their schedule and abilities, including shadow and mentor programs, apprenticeships and even paid internships.

The growing program now has 40 community partners whose involvement brings more than 400 opportunities to the table for students. Some groups also point out they benefit a lot from the program as well.

“Your students and your children are amazing,” said Jess Hartley with Inter Parish Ministries, a business partner since the inception of the Experienceship Program.

“We’re aware of the current workforce challenges and this program is helping companies and organizations be able to continue employment opportunities in the Greater Cincinnati Area,” said Donna Lauver, FHSD’s Community Partnership Advisor.

About 2,200 students are currently enrolled in Experienceship. Tuesday’s event helped current sophomores and juniors learn about opportunities for summer involvement and how to find an experience for the 2022-2023 academic year.

“With over 300 attendees, it is a true testament to the success of this program,” Sam Daoud, a Turpin High School alumnus and Franchise Director for Gold Star, said. “The Experienceship program allows students an opportunity to engage in real-world careers at a young age.”

"The Experienceships really set you up to be successful in that professional setting," said Grant Gazar, a 2020 graduate of Anderson High School and former participant in the program.

Experienceship surveys current students to learn which fields have the most interest and works with its stellar community partners to make those opportunities available to students. The program covers things like health care, business administration, supply chain and logistics, STEAM fields and fine arts.

“Our Experienceship program truly allows for our students to be empowered and take control of their future through career exploration, in a way that is self-directed,” said Adam Samuels, a technology teaching and learning support specialist at FHSD. “Our hope is students use this experience to become comfortable with the work environment, build their network, and most importantly, reflect and develop future goals."

Any students or families who were not able to attend Tuesday’s kickoff event can find more information about the program here.