A group of Madison HS seniors learned that HISD’s commitment to ensuring that students graduate ready for the world extends even after they have received their high school diploma. By participating in “Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree,” 35 students had the opportunity to talk about what happens after that first hurdle.
Eleven business professionals and members of the Houston chapters of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) served as mentors for college and career planning, giving students advice and tips on time management, selecting degree plans that fit their interests, and understanding how to leverage their unique talents in fields they may never have considered.
“It has definitely pushed us beyond just getting a bachelor’s,” said senior Heili Torres. “I knew I was interested in psychology and business, but I didn’t know how to combine those two. I got suggestions from the mentors, and they told me about marketing. They really do work well together!”
Groups of students sat down with their assigned mentors and held “crucial conversations” – discussions where stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. The mentors, who come from a wide array of industries such as health, education, and oil and gas, helped guide the discussion through problem-solving strategies and decision-making. Some students were so motivated by the experience, they reached out to mentors and event organizers after the discussion was over.
“Thank you for giving me tips about college.” wrote Corriena Hall in an email to NSHMBA Vice President Jose V. Garza. “Your inspirational words will help me prosper and achieve better things in my life.”