Community Connections: Student Leadership Program

Community Connections: Student Leadership Program
Posted on 07/17/2017
The Appleton Area School District partners with community organizations and businesses you’d never expect! We're highlighting some of these partnerships that are essential in fulfilling our educational vision and mission.

North junior Grace Umland is glad she stepped out of her “comfort zone” sophomore year to apply for the Student Leadership Program — Appleton,  AASD’s collaboration with Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, and other businesses.

The two-year program exposes students to the local job market and highlights career possibilities through site visits and leadership development. 

This school year 35 community advisors, 12 teacher advisors, and 11 community partners helped 150 AASD sophomores and juniors "open a door" to their futures.

Sophomores concentrated on career exploration, teamwork and networking, plus the resume/job and college application process. Juniors tackled post-high school planning, interview skills and financial literacy. 

All participants also focus on local career opportunities and leadership training during three yearly “Explore Sessions” at area businesses, do a community service project, and visit Chicago for a taste of big city life, educational tours, and college and job market exploration.

"This program is an amazing opportunity for students to develop leadership skills and explore multiple pathways to prosperity," said Rita O’Brien, AASD Dean of Career Based Learning. It’s rewarding, she added, to see them gain “a sense of their community while networking and building their career connections, as well as beginning their discovery and planning for their futures.”

“Students get to learn about leadership from actual business leaders who use the skills daily,” said community advisor Keith Pieschek, Miller Electric manufacturing engineer.  “It’s also a treat to inform students about different options other than a 4-year degree that can lead to high paying careers in the area.”  

“It opened my horizons,” said Grace. “You make so many connections with people, from CEOs to different level employees. I’ve always been set on the health field, but now I see myself getting an RN degree and looking into the business side of healthcare.”