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86% of teenagers say that getting to know an adult who works in science or technology would be a helpful opportunity.

Source: Amgen Foundation

Meaningful educational experiences can occur in almost any setting. Students can learn a lot from adults who are not teachers in the traditional sense, but are committed to working with and sharing their expertise with young people.

Students in an entrepreneurship class at Elizabethton High School in Tennessee, for example, get personal coaching on how to develop their product ideas from local business leaders. In New York City, the ExpandED’s Options program places teenagers in afterschool and weekend apprenticeships at community organizations, where they earn academic credit and gain experience that can lead to summer jobs. College Track uses volunteer professionals in a different way: in nine communities across America, they train volunteers to give young people from underserved communities the academic support, leadership training, and financial advice they need to attend and graduate college.

It’s clear that school boundaries are becoming more porous and expanding beyond the physical classroom to the local community and virtual spaces. Valuable partnerships can be built with colleges, science and arts organizations, youth development agencies, and businesses. By redefining where teaching and learning can take place, schools can open up new opportunities for all young people.

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Listen and Learn
The XQ Expert Series
Listen and Learn
Networks and Partnerships

Dive Deep

  1. students in a group
    Community Career Apprenticeships

    In New York City, high school apprentices in the ExpandEd Options program earn academic credit and learn skills that set them up for paid summer jobs.

  2. student smiling
    College Track

    For many students, a parent can help navigate the path after high school. But what about kids whose parents never went to college? College Track provides an answer.

  3. a microphone
    Tips for Internships

    Leaders from two XQ schools share their tips for creating the perfect high school internship program.

  4. student and teacher
    Elements of Effective Mentoring

    Interested in starting a mentoring program? MENTOR offers guidance on how to do it right—including tips on how to create and manage a virtual mentoring program.

Download the Community Partnerships Worksheet