It Takes a Village
As a Northern Idaho Regional Coordinator for PTECH I have had the opportunity to work with some truly amazing students and families, educators and businesses, and observe the impact PTECH has had in just a short amount of time. As I build on relationships with our partner high schools, I have seen how our PTECH school partners have become true champions of the program. These teachers, counselors, and staff do everything they can to help our students succeed.
From talking to students in the hallways to reminding them of deadlines to reaching out to us when they feel a student could use a helping hand, our school partners work hard because they see that these students are seizing an opportunity that has the potential to change their lives. I have been inspired by the support from our high schools and the partnerships being created between PTECH and school staff – resulting in a supportive and engaging environment for PTECH students.
As students begin the process of enrolling in PTECH, one of the first things we do is hold a Parent Meeting, which gives me the opportunity to explain PTECH to families of potential students. I always enjoy these meetings, because it gives me the chance to meet students’ families in person and get to know them. At every meeting, without fail, I am approached by parents who are so grateful that we are able to give their children the opportunity to go to college and begin their path to a successful career. These families are excited to see their students make the commitment to finish a college program and begin a career that will provide them with the means to financially support themselves. Without PTECH many of these students would be left behind after graduation, without a plan or means to gain the skills needed by today’s employers.
Students are excited about their futures, and I have enjoyed watching the “lightbulb” go on as they participate in field trips and gain first hand experiences that inspire them to keep moving toward their career goals. They ask incredibly thoughtful questions, and I can see that they want to learn and grow so that they can work in Idaho’s high growth industries.
It has been amazing to see how the community here in Northern Idaho has been so supportive of PTECH. Businesses are excited to share their knowledge and work spaces and give advice; schools are providing support for the program and the individual students, and the students and families are excited about the possibilities for a bright future that PTECH can provide. I can’t wait to see what comes next for PTECH, our students, and Idaho.
Robin Speer is the Northern Idaho Regional Coordinator for the Idaho PTECH Network.