Our students from Phelps H.S. in D.C. and T.C. Williams H.S. in Alexandria, VA, have formed fruitful relationships with the construction and engineering company Skanska via Mentor’s Authentic Career Experience program.
This year’s seniors from T.C. Williams high school were invited by the Mayor of Alexandria, VA, William Euille, to present their final projects to the city council. These students recently completed a ‘School to Skanska’ mentoring program facilitated by the Mentor Foundation USA. They were given the opportunity to develop complete project proposals for the GenOn power plant redevelopment on Alexandria’s waterfront.
This unique opportunity allowed the students to work hands on with various professionals in a real world setting. By visiting Skanska and the redevelopment site the students were able to make theoretical ideas become reality. Working in all aspects of project management the students, along with mentors from Skanska, developed exciting proposals that included 3D models, company websites and social media marketing strategies. These fully developed and imaginative projects impressed Mayor Euille so much that he immediately insisted the students present the projects to his colleagues.
“These types of projects weren’t on our radar for Alexandria. They are now.,” Mayor Euille exclaimed while congratulating the students. The ideas that were generated reached far beyond the scope of simple classroom style participation and made the leap into real world application. The Mayor also congratulated the professionalism and creativity of the students by saying “sometimes it takes young minds to tell us what we should be doing.”
The ‘School to Skanska’ program creates possibilities for youth by allowing them to experience careers and work hands-on. These seniors are all now interested in STEM (Science, Technology, eEngineering and Math) related professions and have begun their applications for universities with that focus. One student will also begin a paid internship for Skanska to complete her senior experience.
Partnering with corporations, like Skanska, that are looking to build a sustainable future we are able to develop stronger communities through mentoring and the professional development of our youth. When we provide opportunities for our youth we build strong, healthy and sustainable communities. Mentor Foundation USA is proud to partner with Skanska and T.C. Williams to provide these possibilities. We look forward to providing many more successes.