Each month, a new pathway is given a spotlight article. Whether it’s the accomplishments of the Academy itself or the success of a particular student, we want to share with you how incredibly proud we are of each and every one of our Academies, students, teachers, industry partners, and administration.
Let’s continue to celebrate the many accomplishments we’ve achieved and continue to support our students and the entire West Contra Costa community!
For the second year in a row, we are so excited to have partnered with the Richmond Police Department for a day of interactive, career-focused activities, to support students in DeAnza High School’s Law and Government Academy.
Students learned about various roles in the police department through a number of workshops including:
The chain of command and the variety of roles available
Individual career pathways to becoming a police officer
The CSI chain of evidence, tools, molds, information and fingerprinting techniques
Mock trials and the day-to-day work of the DA’s office
The role of a detective, how cases are filed and how evidence is used
How to conduct a canine search
SWAT demonstrations, rescue missions, including the equipment used in crisis negotiation
The role of women and people of color in the department
Special thanks to Michelle Milam for all her support in organizing the study trip, as well as all of the speakers and presenters that made the day possible including Lieutenant Tan, Assistant Chief French, Mandy Swirsding, Victor Wang, Simon O’Connell, CSI Cuellar, Detective Villalobos, Sergeant Parker, as well as Officers England, Finaly, Walker, Katz, Reina, Palma, Pagaling and the K9 Ranger.
We are excited to announce a job opening for a Welding Instructor for our new academy at Kennedy High School.
About the Position
The Welding Instructor will deliver hands on instruction to offer high school students the opportunity to develop entry-level skills required for employment in trade related fields. The instructor must be willing to work with students having a wide range of skills, motivation, academic, or career goals. And, must have the ability to deliver instruction using strategies designed for diverse learning. Instructor will foster a safe and civil learning environment and must be able to provide both group and individualized instruction.
Students from Pinole Valley High School’s Law Academy, Richmond High School’s Health Academy and Richmond High School’s Engineering Academy joined the 200 youth participants in Junior Achievements’ annual S.H.E. Leads Summit focused on female STEM leadership. The Summit this year focused on the theme of “The Women Who Power the Bay Area.” It was an inspirational day of panel discussions, hands-on activities from Junior Achievement’s career readiness curriculum, and a student Q&A with women in the energy sector and supporting industries.
Supporting Our Students to be Career Ready
Here are a few quotes from what students had to say about the day.
JA SHE Leads STEM Summit taught me:
“There are more career choices than just math and science for STEM and STEAM careers.”
“Just because I’m a woman does not mean I cannot do better than a man.”
“That I, as a woman, should believe in myself and continue to believe in myself because I am capable of doing so much.”
The Best Career advice I received today was:
“To take time to think about what you really want to be; it’s okay of you change your major and your path.”
“Don’t compare yourself with others.”
I feel motivated to pursue a career in STEM after this summit because:
“There were many mentors that gave me a new outlook on life.” – Pinole Valley H.S.
“I feel like if I work hard enough, I can become an architect and become someone who other girls looks up to.”- Richmond H.S.
“This event and the mentors made me realize that there are different paths to get to where you want.” – Pinole Valley H.S.
Thanks to Junior Achievement and their sponsors including Andeavor, Valero, CSAA, Robert Half, Intel, Cisco, AON, CAN, PG&E, GE, Heritage, Tesla, and Thomson Reuters for making this day possible for our students.
For more information, see Junior Achievement’s press release about the event.
Students from the College & Career Pathways program worked alongside world-class scientists and engineers as part of four unique study visits piloted in partnership with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Workforce Development & Education team. Over the course of several months, teachers in the academies collaborated with Berkeley Lab staff on translating cutting-edge science into high school level learning. These genuine STEM hands-on learning experiences allowed students to “step into the shoes” of various scientific and technical careers to really bring STEM alive.
Below are just a few of the quotes from student participants about their experience:
“I really liked to see someone from the same thread/place that I come from who’s really out there making a difference in the community. Truly inspirational!”
“Thank you so much for giving us a tour and explaining what you do on a daily basis. The jobs that are here are very interesting, in the way how it all works out in the Labs. Also all the new things that have been discovered. Not only that but thank you for helping out and giving advice about picking a major and all.”
“This really made me want to continue to pursue Electrical Engineering as a whole. Being able to talk to scientists and engineers about their careers, lives, and their path to where they are now made me look more into what I wanna do and how I wanna go about becoming an Electrical Engineer.”
Each of the four innovative study trips aligned to a different Pathway, each combining facility tours, career networking, and project-based learning activities:
The ALS Experience
The Advanced Light Source is a unique particle accelerator that generates incredibly bright beams of x-ray light for scientific research in a range of disciplines including Energy, Physical, Materials, Biological, Chemical, as well as Earth and Environmental Science. Students from Pinole Valley High School’s Health Academy, designed a crystallography research project with scientists from Beamline 12.2.2 to understand the crystalline form of aspirin. Learn more about the students’ visit in this photo exposure piece from Berkeley Lab. Special thanks to Christine Beavers, Dula Parkinson, and the ALS staff for making this visit possible.
The Energy Innovation study visit piloted with Richmond High School’s Engineering Academy featured a day of facility tours, networking with career professionals, and workshops from innovative residential building technologies to research and fabrication of energy efficient materials on the nanoscale. This trip supplemented the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Civil Engineering curriculum as students brought to the Lab their residential building designs and worked side-by-side with scientists and engineers to discuss and build upon their choices in Indoor Air Quality, Water Usage, Energy Conservation, and Environmental Impact. Special thanks to our partners with the Energy Technologies Area, the Innovation and Partnership Office, and the Molecular Foundry for making this trip happen.
What is the microbial health of soil in your community? How can you advocate for better practices to improve local conditions? These were the questions asked of students from Hercules High School to explore in a month-long experiment to identify, gather and then test soil samples from their community at Berkeley Lab. Working with scientists from Earth and Environmental Science (EESA), students conducted experiments in classifying and quantifying microbes, determining DNA biomass using DNA Fluorescence, and measuring biological activity in the various soil samples. At the culmination of the day, students presented their findings and ways in which they could improve soil conditions in their school and community. Special thanks to Eoin Brodie, Javier Ceja Navarro, Shi Wang, and the Microbes-to-Biomes team for thir collaboration on this study visit.
Over 90 students from El Cerrito and Kennedy High School’s Information Technology Academies took part in the Big Data study visit. Here students got hands-on experience in R, a coding language used by scientists for statistical analysis, to understand the impact of the recent North Bay wildfires on water resources in Sonoma County. Later, they applied these skills in a “Big Data Challenge Project” where they worked in teams with a scientist mentor to design a research experiment to understand the environmental impact of a contaminated site on San Pablo Bay. In addition to learning about the challenges and opportunities afforded by big data, students got to see, touch, and explore the machines that make the computing power possible through a tour of the former and current supercomputers at Berkeley Lab. Special thanks to the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the Energy Science Network (EsNET), and Earth and Environmental Science (EESA) for their support in developing the curriculum and workshops for this visit. Read more about the Big Data Study Trip in Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences article.
These four study visits gave Pathway students a remarkable opportunity to have hands-on experience in STEM research, technologies and insight into scientific and technical careers. What a great way to bring STEM alive to our students!
Dilraj Singh, from DeAnza High School’s Health Academy received the Junior Achievement Northern California 2018 Glenlyon Scholarship. This scholarship program provides a 4-year renewable scholarship of $5,000 to only two students in the Northern California region each year. According to Junior Achievement’s announcement, Dilraj exemplifies their values with his entrepreneurial mindset, as well as financial and workplace skills. Dilraj participated in Junior Achievement as a volunteer mentor in the JA High School Heroes program at Valley View Elementary School. In addition, Dilraj recently attended the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Gala.
Dilraj will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall, pursuing a degree in Political Justice and Philosophy with a minor in Public Policy. He plans to continue onto Bolt Law School.
Congrats to the Pinole Valley High School’s mock trial team as it moved onto the playoff round last week at the Contra Costa County courthouse in Martinez, then with a win (3-1) onto the bonus round Tuesday evening.
The Spartan team, led by student advocates Lindsey Thepmany and Angelyn Armistead, beat Monte Vista of Danville last week on the verdict (Not Guilty) and on points.
Ethan A. (pictured) has just been notified by College Board today that he has been named to the National Hispanic Recognition Program for being amongst the top 2.5% in terms of test scores on his PSAT/NMSQT in our region. He was just notified earlier this month, and we just found out. Way to go, Ethan! Proud of you!
In my fourth week at Nerd Crossing, I had to do the most daunting task I had ever had to in my time there. I had to do Angelica’s job all by myself because she went to go have fun on her day off. I answered phones as usual, and also did some basic admin stuff. It all seemed pretty easy until a customer called and asked me to schedule a house call and I didn’t have anybody to ask questions to. I had to quote prices all by myself I had to check the support calendar all by myself I had to schedule a non conflicting appointment for our SUPER BUSY technicians. I had to take into account that the customer also had a busy schedule and had to play a logistical game of tetris to make sure that the customer was taken care off, and that was just one customer. Read More
Junior Achievement and the W Hotel have teamed up to provide students with this Job Shadow opportunity at the W Hotel in San Francisco. During this one-day event, students will not only have the opportunity to shadow two department at the Hotel but become part of the W Hotel brand.
Student Learning Opportunities
Relate school to the world of work
Learn about various careers in the Hospitality and Customer Service Field
Students had the opportunity to shadow 2 different departments during their time at the W Hotel
– Food and Beverage – Style (Housekeeping, Design, Spa, Gym)
– Banquets and Events – Security
– Engineering – Customer Service (Sales, Human Resources, Front Desk)
Understand professional requirements to successfully join the workforce
After lunch Human Resources managers provided the students with an overview of what they look for in a candidate
The Pinole Valley High School’s Law Academy had a great start to the new school year with a wonderful work-based learning opportunity on their campus! Thanks to Junior Achievement, the Contra Costa Dicstrict Attorney’s Office, Contra Costa Public Defenders, Los Medanos College EMS, California Highway Patrol, and the San Quentin State Prison Sargent and Officers, the students got to learn about the process of the judicial system for drunk driving, texting and driving and much more.
This day’s event included sporting “drunk goggles” and operating a bicycle to understand the impact of drinking and driving, what the process of getting pulled over is like, what the impending trial entails, and much more. The students had a wonderful time and learned a great deal.
Learning events such as this could not be possible without our partners and volunteers. (This event had 16 volunteers and one K-9!) We are forever grateful for your dedication to helping our students learn about Law and Justice, and for improving their chances at being successful after their high school graduation.
We’re so happy to announce that two talented Richmond students, Kaleabe Moges from De Anza High School and Makeal Surreal from Deer Valley High School, have won the latest round of the NFTE’s Bizcamp competition. They will be representing the Bay Area in the final round of the NFTE’s National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in New York City on October 6th. These two young men will be joining the 40 top youth entrepreneurs from around the nation to compete for $25,000 in awards. Congratulations to these talented West Contra Costa students. We wish them the best of luck in the final round of this prestigious competition!
Not only do the students at El Cerrito High School have access to a fully operating broadcasting studio, video recording and editing equipment, animation software, and much more, but the teachers involved in the Media Academy have made sure that they always have fresh and engaging experiences. Here are some of the work-based learning opportunities these students have experienced:
There is at least one speaker per week to talk to the Media Academy students. Speakers are usually experts in Media fields who talk about their experiences and how they achieved their goals, as well as experts in other fields who are then interviewed by the students. The learning thread of these interviews then funnels the students’ experiences back to broadcast journalism.
Students frequently take tours of different businesses that are involved in Media, such as Pandora, public radio stations and advertising agencies. However, the students don’t just meet workers involved in the Media field. El Cerrito High School teachers make sure to introduce the students to those in Management, Finance, Engineering, and other non-Media fields.
Annually, El Cerrito High School and their radio station produce a massive World Music Festival, with 15,000 people in attendance. While students are recruited from the whole school, Media Academy students are heavily involved.
Students have many engaging and inventive projects to work on throughout the year. A few of these projects are:
An in-class Shark Tank. Students must ask pointed question to decide if they want to invest in other students’ “startups”
Students act as an ad agency, including typography, copywriting, design, and thoroughly communicating the message they need to convey
Creating compass roses using skills they’ve learned in geometry
Creating a full-year calendar that includes 1,100 design elements
DSC00637 El Cerrito High School Media Academy
DSC00597 Nanette Thompson El Cerrito Media Academy