DENTON — Last month, 53 10th-graders from Colonel Richardson and North Caroline high schools who participate in the Next Generation Scholars program toured local businesses for career inspiration.
The sophomores visited Caroline County Public Schools, Caroline County Emergency Management, Caroline County Office of Human Resources, Choptank Electric Cooperative, Crystal Steel Fabricators Inc., Provident State Bank (Preston branch) and Walmart.
This is the second year the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education has coordinated a daylong field trip for sophomores to enhance education and career awareness, and promote college completion for high school students.
“The Next Generation Scholars were an amazing group of students with aspiring career goals,” said Sherry A. Bratton, director of human resources at the Caroline County Office of Human Resources.
“Choptank Electric Cooperative was thankful for the opportunity to speak with local students about the co-op and the many different kinds of careers that we offer,” said Elizabeth Hallett, manager of marketing and communications for Choptank Electric. “Occupational Training Administrator Jimmy Harvey and I hope we helped students decide on career paths that are right for them.”
MBRT designed the career tours to connect students with community businesses and provide opportunities to learn about career choices they may not have considered previously. These connections can help pave the way for future job shadowing and summer internship opportunities. Throughout the day, students toured facilities and learned about education requirements and what occurs during a typical workday. They also spoke directly with professionals about their industry and their career path.
For example, students learned about services the Caroline County Emergency Management Services provides to local residents, includinghazard planning, risk management, emergency medical assistance and emergency communications.
While visiting Provident State Bank, they learned about banking, financing, loans, credit and mortgage lending, and the types of classes they would need to take to follow a career in banking.
The sophomores who toured Crystal Steel Fabricators learned about steel framing that is used often in office buildings, schools, hospitals and sports arenas.
At the local Walmart, students explored the world of retail and were introduced to the many departments that need to work together to make a megastore run on a daily basis.
“We were excited to again offer this popular learning experience for our Next Generation Scholars because it is such a valuable opportunity for our students to explore real careers in the community and talk to professionals working in a specific field,” said Brian Dulay, executive director of Maryland Business Roundtable for Education. “Our goal is that Next Generation Scholars will begin to formulate future plans and strategies about how to get where they want to go and be successful in college, career and life.”
For more than 25 years, MBRT has been connecting the business community with local schools through its Maryland Scholars Speakers Bureau and STEM Specialists in the Classroom programs. In 2017, MBRT added the Next Generation Scholars program, which provides funding through the Howard P. Rawlings Maryland Guaranteed Access Grant, administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission, to enhance education and career awareness, and college completion for high school students with a demonstrated financial need. The Guaranteed Access Grant provides an award that will help cover the cost of full-time study at a Maryland college or university for low-income families.
MBRT serves nearly 2,000 students in six high schools across five counties. The organization is one of several that partner with leadership and school counselors at select schools throughout the state to provide grade-specific services to ensure students who are part of Next Generation Scholars graduate ready for their next steps in college, career and life. MBRT coordinators help students and parents understand that college is an option for everyone while bridging the knowledge gap that exists for many families about college and their chosen career paths.
Learn more about MBRT’s Next Generation Scholars program at www.mbrt.org/nextgen.