Sixty Duval County high schoolers are spending the summer between their junior and senior years at Florida State College at Jacksonville, preparing for life after graduation.
The students selected from Andrew Jackson, Raines and A. Philip Randolph high schools are participating in a new industry-certification and job placement program called Pathways to Work.
FSCJ President Cynthia Bioteau said they’ll be earning minimum wage to go to class and will continue to receive stipends throughout their senior year. She said an anonymous donor gave $350,000 to start the pilot program.
“This is trying to capture those students who might not qualify for taking dual enrollment classes while they’re in high school because there’s a GPA requirement,” Bioteau said. “These are students that may not necessarily believe they can go to college and we want them to understand that college is for everybody.”
Students in the seven-week program will qualify for entry-level jobs in construction, culinary arts and global logistics. They’ll also earn college credit by taking a student life skills course.
Bioteau said FSCJ is also committed to following the students through their senior years of high school, giving them the opportunity to complete a four-week paid internship and helping them find jobs once they graduate.
“We want to provide great support around not just going to school, but we want to help career development,” she said. “We want to support career readiness, which means, ‘how do you show up for work; you show up on time; you show up drug free.’ ”
A case manager will work with families throughout the year in areas including help applying for financial aid and conflict resolution within the family.
Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride