What’s Right With Our Schools: Get Future Ready

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Hamilton County Schools recently partnered with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce to help students prepare for the future! It was networking that more than lived up to its name.

Lisa Blakely is the District Chair of the HCS Future Ready Institute.

She explains, “Get Future Ready is an event where the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton County Schools are working together to provide students with an opportunity to explore our future-ready institutes in our school district. So we have 28 institutes in 13 high schools, all of which have prepared interesting activities for students to find out what it is about and what opportunities it offers.”

Jill Moses is the Business Management Techer for the Coca-Cola Future Ready Institute at Hixon High School.

Jill explains, “This event is specifically designed to help students socialize. It’s about meeting people, making connections and building relationships. Some people don’t even know what EPB does. You don’t even know what Hixson High School does, the business department. So that allows those students to have some presence there.”

Elsy Perez is an 11th grader at Howard High School.

She says, “For people that are in middle school, I think that’s really helpful because you can see all the other schools that are offering, because I know that when people were growing up, they didn’t have all these differences had opportunities. You can get jobs like straight out of high school. You can see what other schools are offering rather than just the school they are selling for and I just think it’s really cool and really helpful for everyone.”

Lisa Blakely adds, “Well, first and foremost our middle school counselors, our middle schools, we work with them to bring the students here, the aspiring ninth graders, but the partnership with the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce is invaluable. because they have the direct connections to many of our corporate and post-secondary partners and community partners that we also work with as a school system. But if they can help us get everyone in the same place for students to look for career clusters.”

Jill adds, “As a parent, I also think this is a big opportunity, a big chance for these kids to show themselves. Some students don’t even know what we offer, even students in our own buildings sometimes don’t even know what we offer. So it’s really great for them to have the experience, this tangible experience, to see what’s ahead of them.”

Elsy says, “After high school, I can go and get a job at Erlanger because I’m at Erlanger Institute. I can go to college or work directly at Erlanger.”

Lisa summarizes: “We want kids to start understanding what jobs are out there because it’s all about exposure and we want them to be as familiar as possible with themselves and how they relate to the world around them connect them around. Commitment is therefore synonymous with success.”

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