Lessons in Game-Changing: Three Internship Short Stories

Imagine us last summer, our program staff of six – the Hexapod – spread out across the city in different board rooms and different office buildings, sitting across a conference table or a desk making the same ask to twenty different partners:

“We think this idea is the game-changer. Are you in?”

What we were talking about, of course, was Ed’s Executive Internship Program (EIP), a pie-in-the-sky idea four years in the making, a seed planted on our first site visit to UAB Hospital, the answer to the questions we’d been asking ourselves since 2012: “How are we making a difference in the lives of our kids in Birmingham City Schools?” Continue reading

Educator Spotlight: Erik Batson, Academy Coordinator, Jackson-Olin High School

Despite the impressive list of places where he has taught—from the Bronx, to Austin, Texas, to the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina—you’d be hard-pressed to
find a teacher anywhere that has as much enthusiasm for their system as Erik Batson has for Birmingham City Schools.

Sitting at a table at Starbucks in Five Points South, wearing cycling clothes complete with a “Brooklyn”-emblazoned cycling cap, he professed, “I love my job. I love working for Jackson-Olin, and I love working for Birmingham City Schools—much better than other places I have been.” Continue reading

Parent Spotlight: Michael Hightower

IMG_20150905_111700Stillman graduate Michael Hightower is a native of Birmingham, Alabama and a longtime friend of Birmingham City Schools – Hightower graduated from Ensley High School in 1997 and his children will be the products of BCS, too.

Michael is the father of three daughters: Brittany, a 2009 graduate of Parker High School; Leshae, a 2014 graduate of Carver High School; and Michaela, who will graduate from Carver this spring. “I am extremely proud of them” says Michael about his daughters’ success in school. Michael is very active with his daughters while they participate in extracurricular activities He has been a band booster for Brittany and was a supporter of the cheerleaders when Leshae and Michaela were a part of the squad. “All that I ask is that they finish high school,” Michael says. “I trust that any decisions made after that will be responsible”.

IMG_20140924_074101Michael is new member of the Ed Network and is excited to participate in our programs, especially Network Night, which he was encouraged to attend by Coach Aubrey Bennett, Ed Connector and the Athletic Director at Carver High School.

“What I like about Ed is that it is a source of information,” Michael says. “Not only information about education, but also in learning about other people’s lifestyles and cultures and getting to know the people in and around our schools. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”

Partnership Feature: Rebecca Brown, Director of HR at Brasfield and Gorrie

RB headshot

“I always knew that I wanted to work with business and people,” says Rebecca Brown Director of Human Resources at Brasfield & Gorrie – the largest privately owned general contractor in the Southeast, As the chief liaison to Ed’s Bridging the Gap program at Huffman High School, Rebecca has demonstrated an immense talent for working with people by creating engaging ways for students to learn more about the jobs they may want to pursue in the future. Continue reading

Partnership Feature: UAB Hospital’s Amanda Dubois

UAB Hospital Guest Services manager Amanda Dubois

UAB Hospital Guest Services manager Amanda Dubois

If there is one person that is responsible for helping to define Ed’s Bridging the Gap program, it is our friend and partner, Amanda DuBois.

A longtime resident of Birmingham, DuBois grew up in the UAB Hospital System, and received her BA in English from Tulane University in 1988 and a Masters in Social Work from the Univ. of Alabama in 1994. Continue reading

2/5/15: Carver Academy of Engineering at Alabama Power’s TAC

Yesterday, 10th-grade students in the Academy of Engineering at Carver High School were hosted by engineers from Alabama Power at the company’s Technology Applications Center in Calera.  A division of the marketing department, the TAC hosts engineers that test products for a number of industrial and corporate partners to find the most energy-efficient solutions for their products and businesses.  Get a glimpse behind the scenes from the photos below. Continue reading

Student Voice: Huffman’s Bernard Ball and Maritza Sanchez on Brasfield & Gorrie and Bridging the Gap

img_0249At Ed, we always celebrate the addition of new partners to our roster, and are especially excited to announce Brasfield & Gorrie as the new signature partner for Huffman’s Academy of Architecture and Construction as part of the Bridging the Gap program. On October 16, Brasfield & Gorrie welcomed students to their offices for the first time, engaging students in a day filled with hands-on experiences to expose them to careers in construction. Continue reading

10/16/14: Bridging the Gap with Huffman Academy of Architecture and Construction at Brasfield & Gorrie

This year, we entered into a new partnership with construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie to support students in the Academy of Architecture and Construction at Huffman HS through the Bridging the Gap program.  Last Thursday, students kicked of the year with a tour of Brasfield & Gorrie’s corporate office to learn about careers in professions such as scheduling, estimating, project management, and virtual design and construction (VDC).  Check out the pictures below to see what our students got to experience!