UC High Sophomores Participate in “Unlocking the Genius” Program
March 24, 2017
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According to the official UC High school website, the month of March is a unique and special month for sophomores. For four days, a group of about 100 tenth graders took busses over to Qualcomm, the company, not the stadium, to experience a business adventure tied to the “Unlocking the Genius” program.
Before the Qualcomm visits, students were exposed to looking at their personal strengths as well as some career exploration. According to the District website, the capstone experience will involve their participation shadowing workers at the scientific headquarters for technology (sandiegounified.org).
Counselor Kelsey Bradshaw travelled with the tenth graders to Qualcomm three times. She got to participate and observe the students. Bradshaw said, “Unlocking the Genius is a program with Qualcomm and Junior Achievement that helps students to start looking towards the future and what they want to do with their lives. The program has two parts: one for eighth graders to start looking at high school and then for tenth graders to start looking at life as adults. The program was started so that students could start to look at careers that would link to their interests and work well with their personalities.”
Vice Principal Mike Paredes was very involved with this field trip. Paredes said, “It’s an opportunity for students to find what their strengths and weaknesses are and then match those strengths and weaknesses to possible careers that are related to those certain aspects.”
Bradshaw explained some of the work the tenth graders used in preparation for the field trip and during the field trip. “In preparation for the field trip the English teachers did four lessons with the students, and will follow up with making a resume. The day of the tenth grade field trip, each student was given a scenario, such as a career, family, and salary and they had to figure out how to make their life work. They needed to know if they could afford a car or if they needed to use public transportation. What kind of food can you afford to feed your family? Organic, name-brand or generic, that kind of stuff,” stated Bradshaw.
“During this field trip, I learned how to manage my money through some of the activities we did. But, many other students felt as if they didn’t learn anything,” said Sophomore Steven Ayala.
Paredes explained, “Ideally we would love to continue this trend with the sophomores. But everything costs money, so really it’s up to the district in the end.”
Sophomore Justin Lucero said, “The field trip was wonderful. It was a great learning experience to see what life is going to be like for us in the future. I think it will help my future, because it showed me how to manage money and how I could invest my money. “