12th grade students in the Information Technologies Academy at Kennedy High School came together today to pitch their solutions to a real-world problem posed by a local client. For this project, the City of Richmond’s newly formed Department of Children and Youth posed this question to the students, “How can the newly created Department of Children and Youth best serve all young people in Richmond?” Student projects involved a student-developed survey, mapping and analysis of neighborhood assets and resources, and resulted in long and short-term recommendations for the Department of Children and Youth, civic partners, and community organizations. Solutions posed by students ranged from providing targeted information directly to student populations in multiple languages to establishing gaming-focused youth recreation centers throughout our community. 

This opportunity for students to apply the career and technical education skills they’ve gained through participation in Kennedy’s IT Academy to solve a real-world problem came about through the IT Academy’s partnership with the Y-plan, a project sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities and Schools. Y-plan is a unique, award-winning educational strategy that empowers young people to tackle real-world problems through project-based civic learning experiences. 

Through participation in the IT Academy at John F. Kennedy high school, students have access to this and other work-based learning opportunities that allow them to apply the skills they learn via their career and technical education classes while they explore and prepare for future college and career paths. In WCCUSD, students have the option to participate in one of 19 different college & career pathway programs located in our high schools throughout the district. Each of our pathway programs involve a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. To learn more about CTE options in WCCUSD, visit https://www.wccusd.net/collegeandcareerpathways.

Hope this info helps to highlight the awesome work being done to support College & Career Readiness at JFK and throughout the District by students in our CTE programs!

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