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Mounds View High School

Advisor: Lynn Nelson
Training Areas: Vocational/Career Exploration

Three years ago, a group of at-risk middle school students, who were members of the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) after school program at their school, did a fundraiser for the Mounds View High School (MVHS) SkillsUSA chapter in Arden Hills, Minn. They helped the chapter raise funds to attend a SkillsUSA conference.

 

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Champions at Work

To pay it forward, the MVHS SkillsUSA chapter decided to participate in the RAK program by spending two Wednesdays a month with the middle school students conducting a Student2Student mentoring project of their own. Those Wednesdays quickly became a hit. The middle school students reported that their favorite weeks to attend the after school RAK program were when the SkillsUSA students would be there.

During those Wednesdays, the SkillsUSA members participated in a wide range of activities with the younger students including team building and self-esteem activities, a patriotic project, doing career inventories to learn more about Career and Technical Education (CTE), and, of course, having social activities, which included games and fun projects.

The younger students reported improved self-confidence in leadership and study skills and felt they were better prepared (and less frightened) to enter high school. They now feel they can be successful when they reach high school by being members of SkillsUSA and students in the CTE programs offered.

At the high school level, SkillsUSA members reported improvement in self-confidence and were proud of the leadership skills they used to make a difference in the lives of middle school students. They also reported that Student2Student program was one of their favorite chapter activities. The experience these students had made a significant impact on their public speaking skills, communication skills, leadership skills and their desire to always do their best.  

This mentoring program is now in its third year. High school as well as middle school students hope it continues for years to come.