Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County (BGCLC), in partnership with Poudre School District (PSD), have launched a comprehensive, workforce development program dedicated to serving middle school students this summer. The program was designed to give middle school students a safe place to be during the summer months and to give them hands-on experiences and exposure to different career paths. The entire program is nine weeks long and each week features a different industry. This summer’s industries include: technology, construction, energy, healthcare, hospitality and more. Each week students have the opportunity to meet experts in the field, tour an industry location, and apply the skills they have learned in a hands-on simulation activity. This program is free for students, includes meals, and runs Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. So far, approximately 50 PSD students have participated in the program.
“We are appreciative and energized by the partnership with Boys & Girls Club for the Summer of Discovery program for our middle school students,” said Kate Canine, director of PSD’s Professional Learning Department. “As we analyzed all options to stay connected with our students over the summer, we knew we needed additional resources at the middle school level. The opportunity created by the Boys & Girls Club offers our students engaging work-force exploration to support their career and academic progress.”
During Energy Week, Students Toured the CSU Energy Institute Campus and Participated in Hands-On Activities With CSU Students.
Kaycee Headrick, BGCLC’s CEO said, “Given all of the hardships students have faced over the last year, we were thrilled to design this new and innovative program. We wanted a program that inspired students to think about their future while giving them basic knowledge in diverse industries so they can consider if that career path is a good fit for them. We know that when young people start to plan for their future in a meaningful way, they are more engaged academically and report higher states of emotional wellbeing.”
Over the nine week program, over fifteen different community agencies and businesses will be participating in this program to provide these unique opportunities to students. The various partnerships go well beyond workforce development. Canvas Credit Union is implementing a weekly financial management and planning course and the Fort Collins Police Department comes in to play recreational activities with the students like kickball and water days.
During construction week students visited the LPR Construction campus and participated in hands-on activities with Dohn Construction.
Stephanie Dohn, with Dohn Construction who participated in the program’s Construction Week said, “Dohn Construction was honored to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to provide a hands-on construction experience for the kids. The ability to explore a variety of career options at a young age is invaluable and our team enjoyed educating the kids on various opportunities within the construction industry.”
This program will conclude on July 30 with an end of summer celebration in which the youth participants will be recognized for their participation in the program and accomplishments over the summer.