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How business can support our students
Our lives are busy and it’s hard to think about what tomorrow will bring, let alone what our children, whether teenagers or first graders, need to know today to make decisions about life after high school.
It takes family, educators, and community, including local business, to help transition youngsters to young adults on their educational journey. Aspire Higher believes the earlier students learn about the possibilities of their future, the more apt they will be to work toward pursuing college or secondary education to reach their goals.
Local business has a unique role in society that enables them to support education in influential ways. Businesses rely on education to produce future employees, who can read and prepare reports, speak languages to serve a diverse customer base, and perform complex math and science functions.
Students are future customers who need to learn skills, in order to earn wages that will enable them to buy products and services from business.
Many businesses in Oxford Hills are already contributing financially with scholarships, and their support is appreciated. What else can businesses do to engage students and support continuing education throughout the year?
How can business reward students for a job well done and encourage them to continue their education so they can enjoy many successes throughout their lives and careers?
As an example, Oxford Federal Credit Union (OFCU) is a partner in education with Oxford Hills Middle School, facilitated by the Oxford Hills Education Exchange.
At Career Day there are conversations with students about the skills they will need to have to perform different jobs. Discussions take place to open student’s minds up to what kind of work they may want to do, and what educational path they will need to consider to make that job a reality.
Pizza was brought into a classroom that won a food drive contest, not only to celebrate their achievement, but to talk about how their effort worked to get the results they wanted; T -shirts and tote bags have been donated to winning sports teams to reward them for their hard work, encouraging students to always do their best.
As a financial institution, Oxford Federal Credit Union is dedicated to teaching financial literacy and developed a program for Oxford Hills Middle School teaching students how to write a check, balance a checkbook and use a debit card.
Additionally, for the past eight years, OFCU has provided a financial literacy money management program to seniors at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, as well as all the High Schools in Oxford County.
What knowledge can your business impart to our students?
What is your company or your employer passionate about that could motivate our students to aspire higher?
By working together and leveraging the skills and experience of business and its employees, business can help support and encourage continuing education and invest in the future of our students.
Whether it’s a conversation, working with students to get results, rewarding achievements, emphasizing what hard work and goals can bring now and in their future, offering an internship for real world experience, or perhaps a job. Education is everyone’s business.
This article is part of a monthly series from the Oxford Hills Aspire Higher Committee to support the Aspire Higher mission: “To significantly increase the percentage of Oxford Hills students and residents who pursue college and post secondary education.” If your business is interested in a providing an internship opportunity to one of our high school students or becoming a “partner in education” with one of our elementary school, contact Maureen Howard at 743-8914, ext. 5209.