Turning out global graduates is the mission of HISD, and Houston-based nonprofit organization DiscoverU is helping the district achieve that goal. Forty-four HISD students completed college and career preparatory programs worldwide during the 2014–2015 school year, and more than 200 more are taking advantage of programs this summer.
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Students from Davis and Sharpstown high schools, as well as Eastwood Academy, are experiencing what DiscoverU calls FLOs – Fantastic Learning Opportunities.
“I’m looking forward to the fact that we will be able to travel to a different environment, learn, and broaden our horizons,” said Eastwood Academy sophomore Rodrigo Ortiz, who is participating in Youth About Business, a two-week program at Columbia University and Wall Street in July.
“Providing students with strong interactive experiences in settings that broaden their outlook on our country and the world is imperative in their journey to college and career,” said Sharpstown High School Principal Rob Gasparello.
DiscoverU helps defray the cost of the programs, while providers assist by awarding scholarships as well, making many of the programs available at no cost to disadvantaged students.
A sampling of the opportunities available to HISD students includes:
- Barnard College’s Summer Pre-College Program, where students get a taste of college life and study everything from entrepreneurship to dance
- CURIE Academy at Cornell University, where high school girls learn about engineering in an interactive atmosphere
- U.S. Department of State’s American Youth Leadership Program, in which students study community development and leadership in Ecuador
- BioFORCE at Texas A&M University’s National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing, where students learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on activities
- Programs at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center that focus on genetics and health-care technology
- Young Women’s Political Leadership Program, which helps prepare students for the political sphere
“At DiscoverU’s partner schools, all children, regardless of their family’s income, have the opportunity to access and be exposed to the life-enriching experiences available to them,” said DiscoverU Director of Curriculum and Programs Emily Sketch Haines.
See this link for a story about four HISD juniors who are studying in Great Britain this summer, thanks in part to DiscoverU.