This marks the third year of our Career Mentoring experience with Penn Wood High School and Qlik Technologies. The event, held at Penn Wood High School Library, was designed to culminate our fall program, consisting of 6 mentoring sessions. These high school seniors participated in a custom tailored career experience with Mentor Foundation and Qlik to connect what they are learning in their current Statistics course with real-world professional business applications and solutions.The students designed a survey instrument about “Career Interests and Readiness,” which they conducted with their senior class peers; they wanted their change project to have a meaningful impact on the programming offered to their graduating class.
Throughout the program, students worked alongside Qlik mentors to gather raw data, interfere the data using QlikSense software, and analyze their findings to identify trends and “big picture” questions. Based on their findings, they proposed change projects to add new dimensions to the current Career Day program in light of companion survey data provided by the Penn Wood High School Alumni Association.
The students presented in two groups – highlighting their change ideas in front of the High school Counselor, Principal, Mentor Foundation USA and Qlik Technologies staff. Through the use of PowerPoint, the students brilliantly identified areas that could significantly influence attendance, interest, and impact at Career Day 2017.
One suggestion thoughtfully considered how to improve attendance at Career Day – which is traditionally held in the evenings – our student analysts found is that their peers have conflicting work schedules, personal responsibilities, and transportation issues. They suggested a Career Day held during the daytime and evening hours – providing access and flexibility for all students.
At the conclusion of the presentations, Mentor Foundation USA’s CEO Gunilla Girardo asked students to inform the onlookers of their dreams. Confident and assured of attainment, they spoke of desires to join the military, become a veterinarian, to open a home for youth in foster care, and one student – so inspired by his participation in this program – desired to work with data at Qlik Technologies. Their dreams were varied, yet each of them left the audience inspired and certain that the future, for these charismatic and thoughtful students, will indeed be bright.
Mentor Foundation USA wholeheartedly thanks Qlik Technologies, Inc., William Penn School District, Penn Wood High School and Statistics teacher, Kim Blagmon for the continued support and investment in dream building for students in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.