Toyota, CREATE partnership to help local students

A partnership between Toyota and CREATE expands educational opportunities this school year.

Posted: Aug 24, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2018 10:42 AM

NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) - A partnership between Toyota and CREATE expands educational opportunities this school year.

The Toyota Wellspring Education Endowment is funding a new and much-needed resource for eight school districts in Lee, Pontotoc and Union counties.

We're familiar with seeing coaches on the sidelines, but these coaches are developing a different game plan.

Suzy Bowman is a career coach for New Albany High School.

"Coaches try to have a goal and a plan for their athletes. We're trying to have a goal and a plan for our students before they leave New Albany High School," Bowman said.

The Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo is held each year to introduce career options for 8th graders. This new resource focuses on students in their sophomore year.

When you're getting ready for college, you're thinking about which college to attend, financial aid and even scholarships. The addition of a career coach helps students better understand that path.

While Jodi Parks and Emma Laney both know what career they plan to pursue, they still have questions.

And Bowman is also sharing how she will match them with a community mentor.

The key is asking the students lots of questions to help navigate through 3,000 career options.

"Do they like public speaking? Do they want to work with their hands? More career and technical? Do they want to go to college? Do they want to go to a two-year college, a four-year college, pursue a master's degree? We discuss all those things," Bowman said.

Career coaches are not replacing school counselors.

While counselors work with the day-to-day emotional needs of students, the focus of the career coach is making sure students know all their options in choosing a career and what's required after graduation.

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