About 100 students from Palm Springs Unified School District’s high school academies spent a recent morning learning about how to prepare for and maximize the benefits of internship, mentorship and job-shadowing opportunities at the second annual “Champions of Excellence” career training workshop at the Agua Caliente Resort earlier this month.

Produced by the Foundation for PSUSD and PSUSD’s Career Technical Education Department, the morning workshop featured representatives from local businesses who are interested in long-term sustainability for their business and the future workforce of the Coachella Valley. Goals of the workshop were to maximize student internships to advance workplace productivity, redesign business and student expectations and develop student internship protocols.

The morning kicked off with an inspirational presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Adolph Brown, a master teacher, CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation, author and humorist. Brown, who overcame an upbringing of extreme poverty, violence and welfare, was the first in his family to graduate both high school and college. The father of seven has authored several books including “Championship Habits,”  “Messages from Grandad” and “REAL TALK.”

It was Brown’s grandfather who, he said, motivated him at a young age to get on the right path and always strive to be better.

“My grandfather told me I needed to look in the mirror,” said Adolph. “I learned a long time ago that reflective employees, students and teachers are effective people.”

The retired dean and university professor said his grandfather advised him to “make the world your classroom.”

“Perfection is a disease,” said Adolph. “What we want for your is excellence. We have to be better this year than last year, this month than last month, this week than last week and today than yesterday. Always strive to be better. Don’t stop looking in the mirror until you like the guy looking back at you.”

Adolph also encouraged the students to find opportunities to be nice to people, to “stay in the balcony and out of the basement” and to always give back.

“If serving is beneath you, leadership is above you. Character is who you are when no one’s watching,” Adolph said.

PSUSD Students Inspired to Strive to be Better

(Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Unified School District)

 The event also featured tabletop discussions with business representatives and students on topics relative to expectations and challenges surrounding internship opportunities.

 A concluding luncheon included the presentation to Champions of Excellence of Awards to local business representatives who support PSUSD Career Academies and provide internship/mentorship opportunities.


PSUSD Students Inspired to Strive to be Better

(Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Unified School District)

The Foundation’s “Distinguished Citizen Award,” was presented to Loni and Jerry Argovitz, who established the Jerry Argovitz Sports Institute at Rancho Mirage High School.





PSUSD Students Inspired to Strive to be BetterJoan Boiko is the Coordinator of Communications and Community Outreach for the Palm Springs Unified School District. She can be reached at jboiko@psusd.us or (760) 416-6010.