The Delaware Chamber of Commerce in connection with their affiliate, The Partnership Inc., took time Monday May 14, 2018 to award schools with programs that go the extra mile to advance the experience of their students.
Milford High School with Milford Central Academy's The Will to Skill Program helps by establishing and identifying students who have honors, dual enrollment and advanced placement potential.
Smyrna Middle School's GoBabyGo! saw STEM students partner with the University of Delaware, learn about electronics and modify battery-operated cars to help children with disabilities meet their mobility potential.
New Castle County got the nod on three occasions.
Thomas McKean High School's Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program earned superstar status for its systematic approach to helping students from freshmen to seniors get ready and aided for higher education.
"AVID is designed to be a college readiness system for students who want to be successful but don't really know how," said program co-coordinator Brandi Mycott. "It gives them the tool set to learn how to work smarter and not harder, give them all the information so they can get into the college of their choice-- and with financial backing as well."
Co-coordinator Lowell Bruford noted that it's not just a one and done program, either.
"It's not just our seniors that are participating-- it's all the way from ninth grade up to seniors," said Buford. "The upperclassmen are used to mentor the ninth and tenth graders."
Mycott was represented twice during the evening as she is also a proud mother of two Red Clay Consolidated School District students enrolled in the S3 STEM Summer Scholars program.
"In addition to closing that learning gap that they have over the summertime, it gives them a chance to learn about science and engineering in a way that interests them," said Mycott.
Delcastle Technical High School was also awarded for a program that is quietly shaping the future for students and also helping the school run more efficiently.
"We do not focus on what they cannot do. We focus on what they can do," said Delcastle's Principal, Dr. Clifton Hayes. "We work with students from their ninth grade year all the way up to their senior year and students receive academic as well as a career area opportunity. When they come in they have the opportunity to be placed in job related skills."
Dr. Hayes noted that students from the STEP program learn a wide array of skills and help the school with laundry, embroidery, the running of the school store, printing for classroom materials and more.
Malik Gillum is a STEP student and a success story to boot.
"I work at Bank of America full time and work on personal accounts," said Gillum. "The program helped me in a couple areas-- making me a better man as well as the skills I learned."