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Innovative New CFES Course at Booker Middle School Takes College and Career Readiness to Next Level

Written by Jon Reidel, CFES Brilliant Pathways

Booker Middle School Principal Dr. Lashawn Frost is dedicated to ensuring that every one of her 800 students is on track to be college and career ready. The addition of an innovative new course to the school’s award-winning CFES Brilliant Pathways program has gone a long way in bringing that goal closer to reality.

The course, launched in 2018 by CFES liaison Haley Shaffer, expands on a school-wide CFES program with an increased emphasis on Essential Skills and college and career readiness. The majority of students in the course, which includes sixth, seventh and eighth-graders, will be first-generation college students.

“Dr. Frost said to me last year, ‘can you imagine if we had a class dedicated entirely to CFES?’” said Shaffer, a key player in helping Booker become a 2018 CFES School of Distinction. “Dr. Frost believes in college and career readiness so much that she did whatever it took to make this class happen. It is amazing to see how much it has helped students realize that they are leaders and that they can go to college.”

Taking students to college campuses and exposing them to career opportunities has been a major component of the course. Shaffer coordinates trips with a “career of the month” theme such as healthcare or engineering. She is taking 22 female students to the Florida Engineering Experiment Station (FLEX Station) – an arm of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida dedicated to driving economic and workforce development – to show them possible careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

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