City partners with Hickman for Community Scholars Program (posted 9/21/17)
During the summer of 2017, the City of Columbia partnered with Columbia Public Schools and Hickman High School for the Community Scholars Program. Students coming into ninth grade who were selected by Hickman High School to participate in the Hickman Scholars Program attended a summer school session which included job shadowing with City employees.
The Hickman Scholars Program focuses on students who need extra support and additional attention from teachers to help them succeed. Students were asked about their areas of interest to try to pair them with a City employee who fit with what they might want to do for a career.
One student who was interested in nursing was paired with staff at the Public Halth and Human Services Department to job-shadow different areas of their organizatoin. Another student who started a lawn mowing business was paired with Parks and Recreation to learn how the City maintains the parks and green spaces. Other students were able to experience various areas of city government in Public Works, Municipal Court, Community Relations, GIS, and the Fire Department.
On the academic side of the program, the students are striving toward completing the A+ Scholarship Program. The state program provides scholarships for students who complete the requirements, graduate from high school, and then attend a public or certain private community college or vocational/technical school.
To be eligible for the scholarship, a few of the student requirements include maintaining a 2.5 of higher GPA, having at least a 95 percent school attendance record, maintaining a good record of citizenship, and performing at least 50 hours of unpaid tutoring or mentoring. Some of the hours for tutoring and mentoring can be job shadowing. The Community Scholars summer program with the City provided the students the opportunity to earn up to 12 job shadowing hours to go toward the requirement.
The City plans to continue the partnership with Hickman High School next summer as well. Additionally, other local high schools are in the process of partnering with community entities to provide the same opportunities to the students in their scholars programs. The City of Columbia's CARE Program is also working with the students to prepare them for employment in the future.
These community partners also contributed resources to the students and their families: Boys and Girls Club of Columbia, Cradle to Career Alliance, MU's ParentLink, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Worley Street Roundtable, and Shelter Insurance.
This partnership directly aligns with the City's 2016-2019 Strategic Plan focus of social equity to improve the odds for success and economy to give the students a path toward a career and living wage job.