15 Feb Partner Spotlight: Minneapolis Public Schools CTE/STEM
When Rêve Academy began in 2010, it was a small operation with a big dream: to help students in need find their way to digital careers. But we couldn’t do it without the help of Minneapolis Public Schools’ CTE/STEM department.
With a focus on STEM core competencies and career and technical education (CTE), the CTE/STEM team department had invaluable experience in preparing students for life beyond high school. It was the perfect match for our business, technology, and design training that equips students for the workforce.
Director of Academic Excellence Amanda Janssen explains how Paul Klym, Career Development Coordinator, and Sara Etzel, Director of CTE/STEM, helped grow Rêve Academy’s vision. She said, “When I was hired, I had a lot of passion for education, but no nonprofit experience. I needed a shot of confidence in order to navigate this space. That’s where Sara and Paul came in—they helped connect me to my strengths in the educational world while challenging me to look beyond it.”
Paul Klym and Sara Etzel were key players in our growth.
Amanda continued, “They were also willing to offer thought leadership by providing greater context for our work and reviewing our instructional coaching curriculum. That made it possible for Rêve Academy to provide relevant, high-quality professional development to teachers at a fraction of the normal price.”
With the guidance of key players in MPS, Rêve Academy’s coursework is now taught in 9 MPS schools, reaching nearly 800 students total in 2016. Many of those students then became Rêve Academy interns, learning how to manage project timelines, become student leaders, craft their own business plans, design and sell 3D printed retail items, and master countless other skills.
Executive Director Brad Von Bank said, “It’s fun to think back on our first meetings in our first small office, where Paul was writing on all available surfaces to come up with a strategic plan for the partnership. Now that Rêve Academy is an established community partner of MPS, we’re even more aligned on the need to prepare students for the current and future career landscape. We both believe that kids will lead us into the future, as long as we invest in them today.”