In Community: Career Connected Learning Through Partnership

By LaVonia Montouté

 

Career Connected Learning—“a continuum of awareness, exploration, preparation, and work experience developed through strong public and private partnerships”—has been a hallmark of the Boston education landscape for decades, enabling students to participate in varied and immersive learning opportunities that expose them to the world of work. In 2020, Boston leaned deeply on the partnerships to sustain access to and focus on career learning for students, while also redesigning experiences to meet the needs and call of both a health pandemic and racial reckoning. During the 18th Annual EdVestors Showcase, student, education, and workforce leaders discussed how they transitioned to meet the demands of a double pandemic, their lessons learned, the importance of partnership, and their recommendations for the future to ensure that more students access and benefit from career connected learning experiences.

The speakers shared their incredible pivots in one of three areas: strategies that increased students’ career awareness, career exploration, and career immersion.

 

Career Awareness: Supporting MyCAP and Implementing Virtual Career Lessons for the Class of 2024

Marsha Inniss-Mitchell, Director of Postsecondary Partnerships in Boston Public Schools (BPS), opened the conversation by highlighting the ongoing work in BPS to ensure each student has an individualized student success plan, known locally as MyCAP (My Career and Academic Plan). MyCAP is a key strategy in the district’s college, career, and life readiness framework. In 2020, the BPS team designed a MyCAP distance learning program through Google Classroom to foster student engagement around career learning activities. The team targeted 9th grade students who were most likely to have experienced a significant transition due to starting a new school remotely. Particularly, educators and district leaders noted that discussing careers and the future cultivated a sense of hope in a time of uncertainty.

Partnership was at the core of design and implementation. Leveraging collaborations that spanned the Boston Opportunity Agenda and Generation Success, College Advising Corps, UMass Boston Precollegiate Programs, Boston University Center for Future Readiness, EdVestors, and many more, the BPS team designed and implemented virtual career lessons that engaged students in self-exploration exercises and formed early connection to their career aspirations. Partnership with college access organizations were critical to increasing the number of students who participated in this work virtually during the school year. 

When asked why they focused on career lessons this year, Ms. Inniss-Mitchell explained that the district is focused on supporting students’ self-exploration process, providing them with the tools and supports to identify meaningful careers to them, and aiding their navigation towards their goals.

 

Career Exploration: Virtual Bootcamps in Partnership with Employers and Mentors 

The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) provides a range of support for students in career connected learning, including school-based staff known as PIC Career Specialists, to support career readiness tasks, hosting job shadow days, and facilitating connections between students and employers through annual summer youth jobs campaigns (A Summer Like No Other). In addition to continuing each of these work areas virtually, the PIC maximized the unique flexibilities of the remote environment and longstanding partnerships to connect students and employers in growing industry sectors for a four-day bootcamp during April break. 

Through the bootcamp, students developed skills in design thinking, data science, or engineering by engaging in virtual project-based learning led by employers and the Ace Mentor program. Joseph McLaughlin, Research Director at the PIC, noted that amidst the pandemic it was important to bring students together, connect them with adults through career learning, and support their informed decision-making about their future plans including postsecondary opportunities and majors. Mr. McLaughlin also noticed an important translation of remote work skills to the classroom, sharing that for many students who worked remotely in the summer they felt more confident managing the demands of remote learning in school in the fall.

 

Youth Internship in the Arts in Partnership with Citywide Arts and Cultural Institutions 

Zorely De la Rosa, Boston Arts Academy ‘21, shared her experience in completing a virtual internship through Bloomberg Arts Internship Boston (BAI), a seven-week program hosted by EdVestors that connects students with more than 20 arts and culture organizations across the city to engage in arts administration work experiences. Zorely developed a website that enabled students and teachers to connect for online classes at Community Music Center of Boston. She enjoyed the work of using technology to build connections between people and saw applications to her career aspirations of being a research scientist and creating community around public health topics. 

As a student participant, Zorely reflected on the benefits and challenges of remote internships. She shared that the virtual format was not always easy but helped push her to work independently and built her confidence in reaching out when support was needed: “ Now I feel like I can do projects on my own.” Zorely stressed that community for students is important and that connections to her supervisors, other interns in the program, as well as BAI staff were important to navigating the workplace. BAI also leverages partnerships to provide wraparound supports for students in college writing from 826 Boston, college exploration through College Advising Corp Boston University, and executive coaching from Muadi B. Dbinga Unlimited consulting.

 

Implementing a Virtual Internship in Partnership with Students and Families 

Melodie Knowlton, PhD, Director of the Learning Lab at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has been a longstanding partner of BPS and the PIC, supporting STEAM learning in the classroom and hiring up to 40 students to work in the Vertex labs each summer. An exemplar program that blends workplace skill development and whole student supports, the Vertex team creatively addressed the challenges of transitioning to a fully virtual internship and committed to the motto, to not just “make do, but to make best.” The company witnessed and responded to the impact of the digital divide, both by getting Vertex technology to students and supporting students with connectivity challenges to enable students to be fully on camera and engaged. They also redeveloped their curricula to adjust for at-home experiments and safety needs, bringing in partnerships with local restaurant chains and leveraging baking as a key model of basic biological and chemical principles. An unexpected outcome of this particular innovation is that the at-home kits allowed families to connect more deeply with the work that students were doing in their internship and increased access to STEM equipment and processes. 

The Vertex team also focused on community, creating spaces for students to connect independently to disrupt the effects of physical isolation required during the summer. They made space for conversations that responded directly to the racial inequities that were amplified throughout summer 2020. In a year, where many feared disconnection, disengagement, and disillusionment, Dr. Knowlton shared that the best part of the program was finding out that “at the end of the summer, after having students online 35 hours a week for six weeks, when we said ‘you can log off’, they did not want to log off”. The Vertex team developed a community that fostered professional and personal development and provided a venue to offer care and support for one another throughout the summer

 

Student Empowerment Through Community Collaboration 

The session concluded by putting all of this work in context through the lens of data and how Boston uses partnerships to understand the experiences of students at scale through “anywhere, anytime learning” metrics. Collaboration between BPS and the PIC is just one example of the deep data partnership that enables real-time capture of student learning experiences from career awareness to career immersion, and can inform community action. Roshni Wadhwani,  College, Career and Life Readiness Analyst for Boston Public Schools, described how  BPS leveraged the data insights to bring college and career partners together to directly support students’ future readiness by rallying organizations to support career exploration activities and FAFSA completion. 

Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, the panelists conveyed a commitment to continuing to deepen access to career learning and build upon lessons learned. Many supported continued use of technology to expand regular access to career learning. Recommendations included:

  • Employing a flipped classroom in schools to enable students to do their key career tasks at home using virtual platforms and then partner with educators in the classroom for discussion and guidance;
  • Increasing project-based learning opportunities for students and finding ways to leverage the flexibilities of remote work to allow more students to access these opportunities during the school year and school breaks;
  • Continuing to use technology as a way to connect with more students and allow them a broader learning experience; and 
  • Prioritizing time for students to connect as a community during work experiences as a means of community connection.

 

LaVonia Montouté is the Director of Career Pathways. Learn more about the Education Showcase here.

New skills today equal equitable workforce tomorrow

The May 19, 2021 Bay State Banner op-ed by EdVestors President & CEO Marinell Rousmaniere, “New skills today equal equitable workforce tomorrow”, outlines the opportunity for advancing racial equity through the JPMorgan Chase five-year $35 million initiative, New Skills at Work, across six cities. EdVestors serves as lead partner for New Skills Boston alongside Boston Public Schools, Bunker Hill Community College, University of Massachusetts Boston, the Boston Private Industry Council, Massachusetts Executive Office of Education, The Boston Foundation, and the City of Boston’s Office of Workforce Development. From the article:

“Boston is a partner-rich city with many programs, organizations, and institutions that are committed to building a cross-sector system that works together to enable students and families to make informed choices. Each year, the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), which serves as the city’s Workforce Development Board and school-to-career intermediary, organizes employers to provide jobs and internship opportunities for BPS students and recent graduates. As part of the Mayor’s Summer Jobs program, the PIC prepares high school students for internships and matches them based on their skills and interests to work in employer-paid jobs and internships at private sector companies and in subsidized employment with community-based organizations and government. Quality work-based learning experiences such as paid internships provide opportunities for students to gain work experience and build professional and technical skills. They also help students explore career options through exposure to different sectors and occupations.

Read the full article here.

Designing Virtual Internships in the Creative Sector: Bloomberg Arts Internship Boston 2020

The following blog series will provide a closer look at the Boston-specific Bloomberg Arts Internship program implemented by EdVestors and share the learnings and key takeaways for effective creative youth development and employment models.

BAI Boston 2020 Cohort along with EdVestors staff

The Bloomberg Arts Internship (BAI) is an arts-focused summer internship program in Baltimore, Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia that provides high school interns with paid work experience at cultural organizations along with work readiness and college preparation support. In 2019, EdVestors was selected to be the Boston partner responsible for implementing the BAI program. After a successful pilot summer, EdVestors and the Boston team responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by quickly redesigning and implementing an entirely remote summer program model with the continued support of Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The Boston BAI team was not alone in their efforts to adjust quickly and thoughtfully. For the summer of 2020, Boston’s program went forward with the full support of Mayor Walsh who added $4.1 million in city funding to support new youth employment opportunities and the city’s Summer Jobs Program (this included SuccessLink at the City’s Department of Youth Engagement & Employment, Action for Boston Community Development, John Hancock’s MLK Scholars Program, Youth Options Unlimited managed by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, and the Boston’s Private industry Council or Boston PIC). The Boston PIC played an important role in supporting and overseeing the administration of many of the over 3,000 youth employment opportunities citywide. In addition, as was the case in 2019, the PIC was a critical partner for the BAI program, managing the recruitment, interview and student HR needs for the program.

The BAI program is distinct within the ecosystem of summer youth employment programs in Boston due to its integration of the arts as a central facet of the program model. Potential interns are recruited knowing that their worksites will be arts-focused organizations. The interns’ interest in the arts or identity as artists are key elements of student recruitment and hiring. 

In addition, the program incorporates a Creative Youth Development (CYD) approach and philosophy into the program design, which along with creativity and art-making includes: elevating youth voice and leadership; teamwork;  increased self-identity that leads to more personal expression, and connection building. The program also offers opportunities for them to make connections with an array of potential mentors and expand their networks via their worksite supervisors and contacts with program partners (Boston PIC, 826 Boston, executive coach Muadi Dibinga, College Advising Corps).

Below are Lessons Learned from our experience overseeing the BAI Boston program. Subsequent blog posts will dive deeper into  best practices for youth-centered creative virtual internships with direct examples from intern experiences.

Lessons Learned

  • Virtual youth internships are effective with the right worksite staff and wrap-around supports.
    EdVestors staff developed clear criteria for selecting worksites that led to the identification and selection of arts and cultural institutions which were well suited to supervise and support high school-age interns. Partnering with arts and culture organizations provided a strong foundation for approaching program implementation from the lens of CYD. Selected institutions demonstrated experience with and commitment to employing and supervising high school age youth as part of their original application process. In the midst of the pandemic pivot, EdVestors and partner institutions were able to quickly make high leverage adjustments (e.g. redesigning internship schedule for a virtual format) and provide coordinated supports due to a shared commitment to CYD strategies and decision-making approach in support of students. EdVestors also was able to leverage its role and knowledge as a citywide intermediary organization for arts education to provide operational and strategic support to worksites throughout the planning and implementation of the internship.
  • Structuring the program to have a wide array of adults involved in the program implementation enabled the interns to develop meaningful adult relationships and mentor-like support systems.
    By the spring of 2020 it became clear to the EdVestors staff that the BAI program would be entirely remote. With this in mind, the staff made a deliberate decision to develop additional mentor-like support from caring adults for the participating interns, given the inherent challenges associated with the interns having to work remotely. This goal was critical in the success of the summer, as the interns had an array of adults with whom they could connect and learn together.
  • Using arts as a theme encouraged and promoted interns to “share their best selves”, find commonalities with one another and with their worksite supervisors, and provided a platform for self-expression and youth voice.
    The Boston BAI program builds on the best practice principles and characteristics of CYD, which see young people as active agents of their own change, with strengths and skills to be developed and supported. Program components explicitly created an experience that supported self-expression and youth voice. Self-expression was important because it enabled interns to stay more engaged in the day to day programming, which was especially relevant following a virtual academic year. It was also important because their identity exploration and articulation allowed them to build more relationships, set future goals and create personalized plans to achieve them through various program elements.
  • An arts-based internship program can provide opportunities for participating interns to develop skills that are transferable and relevant across industries sectors.
    While this lesson is relevant during an in-person program as well, the remote internship experience, in particular, increased student exposure to and facility in using numerous digital tools necessary across organizations regardless of industry sector. BAI students completed the summer with meaningful digital work artifacts that can be shared in a professional portfolio. Beyond technology skills, BAI interns also developed transferable competencies such as adaptability, public speaking, collaboration, self-advocacy, networking, and creating your brand through the lens of theater, visual art, and arts advocacy workshops.

Coming up in the next blog, Developing Wrap-around Supports and Authentic Relationships. 

Learn more about the Bloomberg Arts Internship Boston program on our youth-created website.

Bloomberg Philanthropies and EdVestors Arts Internship Program for Boston High School Students Goes Virtual This Summer

Collaboration supports paid internships for 25 Boston public high school students at local arts and cultural organizations

 (BOSTON) July 30, 2020EdVestors, a school improvement nonprofit in Boston, and Bloomberg Philanthropies are conducting their summer arts internship program in a remote format to continue offering opportunities for Boston high school students who want to explore careers in the arts and culture sector, and develop relevant skills, gain professional experience, and prepare for college.

Through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Internship (BAI) program, 25 high school students have paid virtual internships with 12 local arts and cultural organizations this summer. Boston became the latest city to join the BAI program in 2019. The program originated in New York City in 2012, then expanded to Philadelphia in 2015 and Baltimore in 2017. In total, more than 830 students have benefited from the program.

“COVID-19 has interrupted too many educational opportunities this spring and summer for Boston students, and we did not want to add these quality work-based learning experiences to that long list,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, CEO of EdVestors. “Despite being one of the hardest hit sectors, Boston’s arts organizations have stepped up to provide remote internship opportunities that are meaningful and engaging for Boston youth. Now in its second year in Boston, this year’s BAI program is spotlighting the creativity and perseverance of both the City’s arts sector and its young people.

Boston arts organizations providing virtual job opportunities include: Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston Lyric Opera, Community Music Center of Boston, Handel and Haydn Society, Huntington Theatre Company, Hyde Square Task Force, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), MASSCreative, North End Music & Performing Arts Center, Sociedad Latina, Urbanity Dance, and The Urbano Project.

“Arts and cultural organizations have the power to enrich and transform cities, and also unlock the full potential of young people living in them,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The goal of the Bloomberg Arts Initiative is to open doors for students by providing opportunities to get the first-hand experience they need to develop skills, build relationships, and put themselves on a path to success, whether that is in the arts community or elsewhere. Thanks to our partnership with EdVestors, and arts and cultural organizations throughout the city of Boston, these virtual internships will ensure those doors remain open for 25 highly qualified students, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The BAI program exposes high school students to the wide variety of career opportunities that exist in the creative sector and connects arts organizations with passionate young people who may one day pursue a career in the field. Interns will develop essential skills necessary for transitioning to postsecondary and career opportunities through executive coaching, writing support, networking with arts professionals, and specific worksite responsibilities. The summer internships will include an array of timely projects from supporting virtual dance classes to creating visual communications and social media content to developing a virtual/audio public art tour.

EdVestors connected to its network of community art partners and cultural institutions, as well as the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, to identify meaningful worksite experiences for BAI Boston interns and worked closely with selected arts partners on how they could be transitioned to virtual experiences. The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) serves as a key partner, helping to recruit and prepare interns as well as support supervisors.

The BAI program in Boston builds on the success EdVestors has seen through its Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion initiative, which has resulted in nearly 17,000 additional students receiving arts instruction during the school day. BPS arts educators working in partnership with community-based teaching artists and organizations have made this work possible. The initiative continues to focus on expanding access to equitable arts education and deepening arts experiences, while building systems to sustain a high level of arts education long into the future.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in more than 570 cities and over 160 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $3.3 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubeTwitter, and TikTok.

About EdVestors

EdVestors’ mission is to increase the number of schools in Boston delivering dramatically improved educational outcomes for all students. EdVestors is a school improvement organization that combines strategic philanthropy, education expertise, and implementation support to help schools create the conditions for school change. EdVestors seeds promising ideas through the School Solutions Seed Fund, shines a spotlight on school improvement through the School on the Move Prize, and scales efforts to close opportunity and achievement gaps through three strategic initiatives: Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion, Zeroing in on Math and our newest effort to expand Career Pathways. Learn more at www.edvestors.org.

Strengthening Biotechnology Programs through Collaboration – East Boston High School’s Biotechnology work with Essex North Shore

By Eliza Cassella and Amanda Dillingham 

Over the past ten years there has been a significant shift in the landscape of education. Diverting from content heavy direct instruction to enhancing student agency through experiences and hands on learning–East Boston High School has been a pioneer in this transition. East Boston High School is focused on developing high quality programs that support real world authentic learning for our students. Teachers and students have together over the past few years with partners such as Amgen Biotechnology Experience, BioBuilderMassachusetts Life Science Center, MassBioEd, Tufts University, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, EdVestors, and the Boston Public Schools Career Technical Education (CTE) department to build an innovative Biotechnology CTE Program that offers opportunities for students to engage in authentic curricula, attend field site visits at biotechnology companies and colleges, and apply for and obtain internships in Boston-area biotechnology companies leading to increased opportunities for students to have experiences in the Life Sciences Sector. “Collaboration and partnerships are invaluable and essential for growing programs for our students at East Boston High School” Science Director, Ms. Dillingham explains, “our partners have been key to building a sustainable biotechnology program.”

With the support of EdVestors’ Career Pathways planning grant, East Boston High School students and teachers were able to collaborate with Ms. O’Reilly and her Biotechnology vocational program at Essex North Shore Technical and Agricultural School. EBHS students, two teachers, Mr. Lepak and Ms. Puopolo, and  Ms. Dillingham spent a day immersed in the Biotechnology Experience at Essex Tech. Ms. O’Reilly and her Biotechnology students were gracious hosts, making us feel welcome and part of their Essex Tech community as soon as we stepped foot in the doors.

Upon arrival our hosts gave EBHS students a tour of the lab and equipment giving advice and suggestions on which equipment would work best for our program. They then engaged EBHS students in a micropipetting review and inquiry lab using an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) technique to identify patient zero in a Zombie Virus scenario. During the lab, Ms. O’Reilly and EBHS teachers discussed curriculum design and implementation of new labs. Ms. O’Reilly has been an important collaborator with EBHS to develop a curriculum that closely matches the current Biotechnology CTE program at Essex Tech.

After the lab, we had a delicious gourmet lunch created and served by students in their Culinary Arts program. Student and staff were treated to a catered lunch including salad, pizza, and brownie sundaes. EBHS student Linnette said “I enjoyed doing the lab while connecting with students and finishing it off with great food!” It truly was such a great example of integrated learning from start to finish; challenging our minds through critical thinking and problem solving in the lab, to cultivating community through a shared meal together.

Both the students and teachers learned a great deal about how biotechnology programming looks like in a large Vocational School and plan to implement our new insights at East Boston High School in the coming school year. “I loved seeing our students interact with the students from Essex Tech. It was amazing to see our students work on an advanced lab and impress everyone. Working with other schools, teachers, and students helps me improve my classroom practices and make sure I am using current best teaching practices.” EBHS Biotechnology teacher, Mr. Lepak reflects. We look forward to continued collaboration with Essex Tech and are so grateful for their support and guidance as we continue to build our Biotechnology Pathway at East Boston High School.

Eliza Cassella is the Director of Partnerships & CTE Pathways at East Boston High School.
Amanda Dillingham is the Science Director at East Boston High School.

To learn more about East Boston High School’s CTE Pathways, click here

For more information about EdVestors’ CTE work, click here.

National Arts in Education Week celebrates the transformative powers of creative skills

The September 9, 2019 Hechinger Report Op-Ed article by Marinell Rousmaniere and Myran Parker-Brass, “National Arts in Education Week celebrates the transformative powers of creative skills”, describes the impact of arts education and its ability to equip young people with necessary skills to exceed in school, work, and life. September 8-14, 2019 is National Arts in Education Week. From the article:

Arts education for all students is fundamental to a well-rounded education. The arts provide dimension and perspective, and they help students develop the critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills they will need to succeed in school, work and life. Students who have high-quality arts learning opportunities may be among tomorrow’s great artists, and they also may be among tomorrow’s health care professionals, engineers and civic leaders. No matter the path, arts education provides a way to creative careers of the future.

EdVestors and Boston Public Schools (BPS) began laying the groundwork for this future more than a decade ago with the creation of BPS Arts Expansion, an initiative that has brought arts learning opportunities to 17,000 additional students annually across the entire school district, ensuring all students receive foundational arts learning opportunities. Now, it’s time to build upon this base and increase opportunities to help students put their arts education into action.

Click here to read the full article.

New arts initiative to provide paid internships to Boston public school students

The March 13, 2019 Boston Globe article by Annika Hom, “New arts initiative to provide paid internships to Boston public school students”, highlights the new EdVestors and Bloomberg Philanthropy partnership to bring the Bloomberg Arts Internship program to Boston. From the article:

Officials said the program will increase diversity in arts education and employment.

“This helps students build skills, networks, and connections,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, chief executive of EdVestors. “It’s potentially part of the pipeline for closing the equity gap around profile people who work in arts and cultural institutions.”

Interns will work in such positions as props managers in local theaters and youth coordinators for art museums. They will work 30 hours a week at minimum-wage salaries paid through Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Rousmaniere said many cultural and arts organizations operate as nonprofits, thus limiting paid internship opportunities. This deters lower-income students who can’t afford a summer without pay.

The payment aspect is “critical because the students might not otherwise have access to this type of summer opportunity,” Rousmaniere said.

Read the full article here and learn more about the Bloomberg Arts Internship program here.

Arts internships coming for Boston students

The March 13, 2019 CommonWealth Magazine article by Michael Jonas, “Arts internships coming for Boston students”, details the new EdVestors and Bloomberg Philanthropy partnership to bring the Bloomberg Arts Internship program to Boston. From the article:

WHILE BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL students hear plenty of talk about opportunities in STEM fields, with good internships available that match them with employers in the region’s booming biomedical and tech industries, one important local sector – the arts — has long struggled to keep up when it comes to showcasing career pathways for young people.

Efforts to change that and expose more young people to work in the arts are getting a big boost thanks to a new partnership between EdVestors, a Boston-based school improvement nonprofit, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The New York-based philanthropy is making a $250,000 award to EdVestors to fund paid internships at arts organizations this summer for 25 rising Boston high school seniors.

Read the full article here and learn more about the Bloomberg Arts Internship program here.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Partners with EdVestors to Bring Arts Internship Program to Boston High School Students

       

 

Collaboration will support paid internships for 25 Boston public high school rising seniors at local arts and cultural organizations this summer

(BOSTON) March 13, 2019EdVestors, a school improvement nonprofit in Boston, today announced a new partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to bring the Bloomberg Arts Internship program to Boston. Twenty-five rising high school seniors will have paid internships this summer at local arts and cultural organizations. The unique program is designed to help students develop career skills, gain professional experience in the arts, and provides students college-readiness preparation. EdVestors will work with Boston organizations to recruit students and participating cultural organizations.

“The Bloomberg Arts Internship program and partnership with EdVestors will provide opportunities for young people in Boston to tap into our city’s vibrant arts and culture community and participate in ways they haven’t before,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Boston is a national leader in youth employment because we recognize the importance in giving teens the tools and confidence to succeed in their future careers. Building skills while working in our world class museums and community-based cultural institutions will open a window into a new world for many students, one that will inspire them to develop their potential, in college and in life, and strive to become the next generation of leaders.”

Boston is the newest city to join the Bloomberg Arts Internship program. The program originated in New York City in 2012, then expanded to Philadelphia in 2015 and Baltimore in 2017.  More than 600 students have benefited from the program.

“Opportunities for Boston’s young people to engage in quality work-based learning experiences while in high school are a pressing need,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, CEO of EdVestors. “The Bloomberg Arts Internship in Boston sits squarely at the intersection of our work as lead partner for Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion and our newest career pathways initiative. We believe that bringing the Bloomberg Arts Internship initiative to Boston will help address opportunity gaps for Boston students and the equity gap in the local arts and culture workforce by building a pathway of opportunity in the sector for our young people from diverse backgrounds.”

Interns will develop fundamental skills necessary for transitioning to a postsecondary world, including writing for the workplace and college applications, public speaking, and interviewing skills. They will also begin developing professional networks and connections to the local labor market they may not have had otherwise.

“We started the Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Internship program to help students strengthen their professional skills and explore potential career paths,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “Building on progress in New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, we are proud to expand the program to Boston. We look forward to continuing to foster leadership in the arts for the next generation.”

EdVestors will connect to its network of more than 75 community art partners and cultural institutions as well as the City of Boston Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture to identify meaningful worksite experiences for BAI Boston interns. Other key partners include the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC), which will help recruit and prepare Bloomberg Arts interns as well as support worksite supervisors before and during the summer.

The Bloomberg Arts Internship program in Boston will build on the success EdVestors has seen through its Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion initiative, which has greatly increased equitable access to quality arts education experiences for students throughout the Boston Public Schools. Since its launch in 2009, across the BPS district of 56,000 students, this public-private partnership has led to dramatic growth in arts access with nearly 17,000 additional students now having access to arts learning opportunities during the school year, compared to ten years ago.

 

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in nearly 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

 

About EdVestors

EdVestors’ mission is to increase the number of schools in Boston delivering dramatically improved educational outcomes for all students. EdVestors is a school improvement organization that combines strategic philanthropy, education expertise, and implementation support to help schools create the conditions for school change. EdVestors seeds promising ideas through the School Solutions Seed Fund, shines a spotlight on school improvement through the School on the Move Prize, and scales efforts to close opportunity and achievement gaps through three strategic initiatives: Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion, Zeroing in on Math and our newest effort to expand Career and Technical Education pathways. Learn more at www.edvestors.org.

 

Boston Globe by Annika Hom – New arts initiative to provide paid internships to Boston public school students

CommonWealth Magazine by Michael Jonas – Arts internships coming for Boston students

Inspiring Students One Coffee Cup at a Time – East Boston High School’s Hospitality and Tourism Partnership with Starbucks

By Eliza Cassella 

In an era of innovative learning, East Boston High School is focused on leading the way by creating unique opportunities for students to engage in authentic learning experiences through its Career & Technical Education (CTE) Pathways. East Boston High School offers a pathway option for every student to participate in during their junior and senior year. These pathway programs expose students to a wide array of post-secondary career opportunities, all with a goal of presenting students with extensive immersive experiences in a field that could lead to potential careers while equipping them with the necessary skills to be successful. This year, East Boston High School has taken a strategic approach to leveraging industry partners by providing job shadows, leadership development, and site visits in the field to provide an experiential work-based learning experience for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom directly to the field.

Recently, students enrolled in East Boston High School’s Hospitality and Tourism Pathway, led by their teacher–Mr. Joe Bruno, participated in a full day of leadership development with our newest partner–Starbucks. After several weeks of planning, students traveled to the Starbucks Lynn location for their immersive workplace visit. Upon arrival, students were quickly welcomed with a coffee tasting- a component of Starbucks culture that starts every company meeting, gathering, or event. The coffee tasting quickly set the tone for a day that would be enriching for students and connected to the company’s mission and values.

Following the coffee tasting, students rotated through different stations where they reflected on their individual strengths, discussed the importance of giving and receiving feedback, and how to identify a workplace that connects to one’s own personal values. Each of these stations explored different components of the Starbucks onboarding process for employees, allowing our students to learn about both the hard and soft skills required to be a successful employee. Students reflected on the skills which included: organization, communication, dependability, empathy, problem solving, optimism, and warmth– all essential to be a successful Starbucks employee. The visit concluded with a testimonial from an East Boston High School alum, who was recently named Store Manager of the Year, and the opportunity to apply and be interviewed at any Starbucks in the greater Boston area.

“I learned that I’m a leader even if sometimes it’s hard for me to recognize it and view it as for what it is. I learned that we all have a different story to tell.”
– Delmy, East Boston High School senior

Through the discussions, students were also able to make connections to experiences from other industry visits and identify themes around the overall skills necessary to be employable and prepared in the Hospitality and Tourism industry. These connections were shared in a debrief at the end of the day where it became evident that students were demonstrating a deeper sense of confidence in sharing their own stories and work experiences. Students shared how hearing directly from hiring managers reaffirmed many of the lessons they learned in the classroom and how valuable the innate qualities and skills they bring to the workplace truly are. One student explained how she never realized the value of speaking two languages, and how marketable of a skill that is on her resume when applying for a job.

The Starbucks mission states, “to inspire and nurture the human spirit- one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Through this partnership, students will continue to gain invaluable real-world learning experiences, gain employment opportunities, and can work towards a college degree paid by Starbucks—one student, one cup, one community at a time.

Pictured with his class is Mr. Joe Bruno, East Boston High School Hospitality and Tourism Pathway Teacher

Eliza Cassella is the Director of Partnerships & CTE Pathways at East Boston High School.

To learn more about East Boston High School’s CTE Pathways, click here

For more information about EdVestors’ CTE work, click here.