EXPERIENCESHIP PROGRAM PROVIDES REAL-WORLD OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
For the third consecutive year, the Forest Hills School District is providing its Experienceship program to high school students. As part of the district’s goal to present opportunities for students inside and outside of classrooms, FHSD partners with local businesses for the Experienceship program. Students are introduced to the program in their sophomore year and they can begin applying for the summer prior to their junior year. Our students gain invaluable internship-type experiences with community partners which helps give them a competitive edge and prepares them for the workforce!
221 students have participated in the Experienceship program since the summer of 2019. Students gain valuable learning experiences with business partners. Businesses and organizations provide paid and unpaid opportunities for students to intern, shadow, work and learn from during summer, fall and winter sessions. Any student successfully completing the program is able to earn an OhioMeansJobs-Readiness Seal and the accomplishment will be reflected on their high school record.
At the Forest Hills Board of Education’s regularly scheduled meeting in March, program directors Donna Lauver and Brian Robinson shared students’ experiences with attendees. As part of the presentation, a video that included a discussion of former FHSD students who participated in the program was viewed. The students who participated in the panel discussion were Grant Gazar, Zachary Gardner, Natalie Wilson, Jack Lambert, and Emma Gassar.
Gazar is an Anderson grad and facilitated the video panel. “Real-world experience is exactly what I came away with from with my personal Experienceships with the Reds and FC Cincinnati.” Gazar said. “Actually working with the Reds and seeing what they do, it made me realize, okay I do want to pursue a career in sports. This isn’t just a hobby or something that I’m interested in. So it really opens up your eyes to what you might want to do in the future.” Gazar is now majoring in Sports Marketing at the University of Cincinnati.
Wilson, who is a freshman at UC, graduated from Turpin last year. “In today’s world, being professional in a business setting is everything,” Wilson said. “I learned how to communicate effectively and concisely with my colleagues when they’re older than me which is a big part in the business world and then I also learned how to be on time, time management, and how to work with different people that I’m not used to working with and adapting to the environment.”
Last year before mandatory shutdowns due to COVID-19, more than 30 companies and 300 students participated. One of the amazing aspects of the program is that the great learning opportunities for students are provided at zero cost to the school district. A grant from the Ohio Department of Education helped with some of the funding. We are looking forward to continuing to provide the Experienceship program for generations to come as part of our mission to prepare FHSD students for workplace excellence!