Nearly 300 attendees got an opportunity to learn about Palm Springs Unified School District high school career academies while enjoying student-created food, and drink samples and having the opportunity to choose their favorite academy project at last week’s Career Academy Expo: A Look to the Future” at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Career Academy Expo Hosted by Student AmbassadorsTwenty career academy students who comprise the PSUSD Career Technical Education (CTE) Student Ambassador Program, planned and executed the showcase. Now in its second year, the Ambassador program includes qualified students from various academies who work throughout the year on event planning, project management and public speaking in an effort to increase community awareness of the CTE programs at PSUSD’s high schools.vvv

“This year, ambassadors were enrolled in an online leadership and project management course that I wrote to ensure they could get elective units for their work as well as get more background on the topics,” said CTE Teacher on Special Assignment Erik Mickelson, who oversees the Ambassador program. “That will continue next year, and I am looking to add a deeper dive into the public speaking piece and provide them with more opportunities to hone, refine and practice their skills.”

In addition to last week’s Expo, the Ambassadors participated in several district and community events including the Champions of Excellence, Glo Run, CV Economic Summit, National Dropout Prevention Conference and STEMCon.

Project winners this year included: Public Safety Academy (PSA), Desert Hot Springs High, first place; Culinary Arts Food Education (CAFÉ), Rancho Mirage High, second place; and Desert Hot Springs Highs Academy for Careers in Education (ACE) and Renewable Energy Academy of Learning (REAL), third place. Pathway winners including Digital Arts, DHSHS, first place; Palm Springs High’s Arts Institute, second place; and Palm Springs High’s welding program, third place. Audience favorites were Academy of Business Learning Education (ABLE), Palm Springs High; Health Environmental Academy of Learning (HEAL); and CAFÉ.Career Academy Expo Hosted by Student Ambassadors

As visitors toured the Academy tables to hear more about the student projects and learn about the CTE programs, they were able to stop along the way to sample a wide array of food items prepared by CAFÉ students.

“I could not have been more pleased and proud with how the students planned and executed the event,” said Mickelson. “From the overall look, to the food, to the quality of the student presentations, to the parking and security (organized by PSA students), everything ran smoothly, and guests seemed to have a great time.”