Even at home, students are learning about the world of work

April 21, 2020
student at computer

A group of Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) students are answering more than just their teachers’ email while learning from home. Dozens of AVID students in ninth and tenth grade were also connecting with professional mentors through an eMentors program sponsored by BestPrep. The nonprofit organization is focused on helping bridge the gap between classroom learning and workplace skills.

Students have been matched up one-on-one with a professional from Alerus, a financial services company, and United Health Group. Both mentors and students have committed to connecting online at least one each week for seven weeks. 

“eMentors was really interesting and a good experience for me to learn about email communication, work ethic, and interaction,” said sophomore Mackenzie Vang, who is participating in the program for the second time this year.  “It was cool meeting our eMentors in person and talking about our different experiences with technology and more.” 

The weekly communication with a business professional allows students to learn about career options, improve professional communication, and understand the relationship between what’s learned in school and the workplace. 

Because of the statewide stay-at-home order, this year’s participants won’t be able to meet their mentors in person. But that won’t stop students and their adult mentors from forging relationships and sharing experiences.

“As distance learning becomes the new normal, eMentors provides a wonderful opportunity for students to virtually connect with professionals while learning valuable skills to prepare them for success in school, career, and life,” said Madeline Keil, BestPrep’s eMentoring coordinator for SAHS. “We are so grateful for their partnership especially during our Distance Learning initiative this spring.”