On December 8th, 2014, 17 seniors from Penn Wood High School in Lansdowne, PA, presented their impressive data-driven change projects to the President of Qlik Americas, Joe DiBartolomeo and his fellow Qlik team members, directors from the William Penn School Board and parents.

18 December 2014 | News

Hosted by the Mentor Foundation USA and the SACC Philadelphia, the student presentation showcase was the culmination of a 6-week experiential learning opportunity with Qlik. (See article Connecting with Qlik)

The William Penn students were challenged with connecting what they have been learning in their 12thgrade statistics course with a real-world scenario that showed how data drives change. The question the students asked: “How can we use data gathered from our peers to develop a change project that would have an impact for years to come?” The topic the students focused on was: “Stressors of teens and how their peers cope with stress.”

The compelling data from the 386 students that were surveyed yielded the following three change project proposals:

  • Listening to music while working independently (at least 75% of the students surveys said that listening to music was a positive way to relieve stress).
  • Student led clubs for after-school physical activities. (46% indicated that they do some form of physical activity to relieve stress).
  • Revitalization of the role of guidance counselors. (This was based on 45% of the students indicating that they do not having someone to talk to and how it affects their stress levels).

All of the change projects that the students proposed would cost very little—if anything—to implement and would help relieve some of the stressors that the majority of the students experience.

Julie Whipple, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Qlik, was spearheading the project from the corporate side. “Qlik believes in ensuring that the next generation is equipped with the technical skills to be successful AND the desire to learn and innovate. That is exactly what this Authentic Career Experiences has provided and I am so excited that our team at Qlik had the opportunity to witness the “magic of discovery” during the project,” she said. “The William Penn students’ change projects will have an impact at their school for years to come and that is something to truly be proud of.”

The objective of this program was to encourage students to think critically and analytically within a professional teamwork environment and bridge the gap between school and professional life. “I wish that I had access to Authentic Career Experiences as a high school student,” remarked Jamila Sams, Program Director for Mentor Foundation USA. “As a first generation college student during the early 90’s, my career exposure started at home thanks to my parents who were entrepreneurs. When I continued to college I was fortunate to have good mentors who gave me further insights into different careers,” continued Jamila, who is a graduate of Penn Wood High School, adding that: “It is imperative that we prepare the next generation of “game-changers”, awaken their passions and expose them to as many meaningful learning opportunities as possible.” Jamila worked closely with Qlik and Ms. Blagmon, the 12th grade statistics teacher at Penn Wood, in designing this robust and engaging Authentic Career Experience program.

“Authentic career experiences with caring companies like Qlik provides the perfect balance of career exposure, mentoring and soft-skill development,” said Gunilla Girardo, President of Mentor Foundation USA. “We are proud to have Qlik as a partner in preparing our youth to live healthy and successful lives while pursuing their goals and we look forward to continuing working together.”

Qlik Technologies, founded in Sweden in 1993, has pioneered new ways of transforming data into meaningful information. Their product, Qlik, is the leading business discovery platform, providing user-driven business intelligence (BI) to a variety of organizations worldwide.  Today Qlik Technologies serves approximately 32,000 customers in 100 countries.

For more information on hosting an Authentic Career Experience, contact Jamila Sams, at [email protected]