Highland Park High career-mentor program pairs students, professionals
In a mutually beneficial initiative, Highland Park High School (HPHS) students can now explore career paths, courtesy of the city and its chamber of commerce, which recently launched a year-round program involving local professionals.
Community-based business leaders offer their time and guidance to HPHS juniors and seniors via the Highland Park Career Exploration Program (HPCE), created earlier this year to help students transition to post-graduation life by focusing on occupational opportunities through job shadowing and other contact with professionals in various fields.
Since its inception, the program has successfully solicited approximately 50 individuals in fields ranging from marketing, public relations and merchandising to medicine, government, technology and trades.
“The HPCE program has been incredibly well-received by students, parents, educators and participating business professionals,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said. “As a new school year begins, we are pleased that interest remains strong, and I encourage our students to take advantage of this unique learning opportunity.”
HPHS instructor Amy Burnetti, chairwoman of HPHS' Fine and Applied Arts Department, commended the program, expressing gratitude to the business community, while Highland Park Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ginny Glasner detailed the arrangement’s benefits.
“Job shadowing (helps) students connect learning to earning,” Glasner said. “Through this experience, students will begin to think about the types of problems they want to solve, and what additional skills they might need to acquire to achieve that. Our businesses have a wealth of knowledge to share with the next generation of the workforce.”
Interested students can contact the City Manager’s Office at 847-926-1000 or complete an application at www.cityhpil.com. Applications are accepted on a continuing basis.
“The partnership between the City, HPHS, the chamber and our business community makes it possible to build strong connections with our future leaders and equip them with skills they need for success in the workforce,” Rotering said.
Participating businesses benefit not only by providing a significant service, but also by contributing to an informed future workforce.