HELP modifies its WoW program to implement House Bill 5 in Gulf Coast schools.
By: Dr. Ridge Hammons
Hammons Education Leadership Programs’ (HELP’s) Texas 3 Step goes a long way toward the satisfaction of House Bill 5 through sampling multiple careers and being well-aligned with the endorsements. When we showed our program to the governor’s people, their very first question was, “How soon can you take this program statewide?” We said we really wanted to get things figured out countywide first.
They went on to claim that they had gotten dozens of calls from districts all over the state asking how they were supposed to satisfy the House Bill 5 mandate that all students must receive significant training in the skilled trades of their choice before leaving high school. To further compound the problem, there are no programs dedicated to giving students hands-on practice in a number of career fields – but our motto is, “How can you find the job of your dreams if you don’t even know it exists?”
HELP is not a training program so much as it is a survey course, letting high-schoolers see the wide variety of schooling operations that are available to them out there in the real world. We know kids don’t know what they want to do when they grow up. Some of us don’t know that yet – and we won’t know until we see it!
Sure, every school has a career day, but that only gets you a few minutes talking to someone in an artificial environment like the school gym, surrounded by dozens of other kids looking at 20 jobs for five minutes each. So what? Who’s going to learn anything from that?
Welcome to the Texas 3 Step
The placement of the Texas 3 Step – Window on the World (WoW), Career Clubs with professional speakers and visits to important community worksites – is powerful for students, counselors and administrators. The three steps are:
HELP has already installed its WoW system in all of CCISD’s high schools, having raised some $60,000 from the community to do so. HELP is trying to install its proprietary Texas 3 Step in a number of local school districts, including Calallen, GP and West Oso.
Again, HELP’s motto is: “How can you find the job of your dreams if you don’t even know it exists?” We put kids where the action is. We have no lectures, no books and no classes – just the hands-on experience of a job done well by those who do it best, and who are willing to share their expertise with those curious to know more about it. We have taken over 3,000 students on more than 250 trips to over 100 different worksites. We have received numerous endorsements from administrators, counselors and students.
HELP takes youth on visits to various worksites around the area to give them hands-on experience in jobs that might spark their interest and give them the desire to stay in school, or to receive the training they need to follow their dream to a career (or to choose an endorsement).
HELP has installed 13 WoWs in the Coastal Bend, including CCISD, TM and San Patricio JJC. This approximates a $60,000 investment by HELP and the community, including Best Buy, Kleberg Bank, Kiwanis, Rotarians and the school districts and centers. HELP programming effects some 80,000 students through the schools where we maintain a “window on the world.”
Photos courtesy of Dr. Ridge Hammons