Gloria's Dream

Real-life skills for success

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“My dream,” said Gloria, “is to one day be a pediatrician, have a family, and be able to visit and help my parents and my country of birth—the Ivory Coast.”

Gloria, a senior at Jefferson High School in Bloomington, is studying health sciences at Bloomington’s Career & College Academy (BCCA).

Career Academies, powered by Greater Twin Cities United Way in Minnesota, are re-imagining the high school experience; improving graduation rates and preparing the next generation with skills needed in today’s workforce. Because of early investments by local companies and organizations, Career Academies provide huge value through real-world learning experiences to start students on a successful career path. In addition, students earn high school diplomas as well as postsecondary credits.

The experience at BCCA is positioning Gloria for a successful future. She plans to attend a four-year college to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology, and then pursue pre-med and a doctorate in medicine.

“Being in the Career and College Academy means that I get to explore the health care field, and to learn about the possibilities within this area,” she said. “It also saves me a lot of money by providing free college classes, giving me certificates which I can use to get a job to pay for my college. Having lots of presenters has helped me connect to people working in the field, increasing my network. Learning about study skills has helped me to learn how college courses are different from high school courses, and how you need to study for them. Being at BCCA also gives you a feel for the college environment.”

We’re gaining momentum. More than 2,900 students in five communities—including Bloomington, Burnsville, Minneapolis, St. Paul and White Bear Lake—are taking part in Career Academies. To date, students have earned 1,075 college credits and 53 industry credentials, an estimated $521,196 in post-secondary tuition cost savings, which is life-changing for at-risk communities.

Thank you to Wells Fargo Foundation for believing and investing in the potential of Gloria and so many others!

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