Burlington-Northern Sante Fe Railway (BNSF) Company’s Mat Garland presented a check Friday, December 12, 2008, in Barstow to CEO Carol Rowen, International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) in an official ceremony at the Railway’s terminal in Barstow.
The railway, which operates one of the largest railroad networks in North America, has been a huge supporter of ITEP for programs, today’s funds will go toward ITEP programs over the next three years.
“Sometimes it takes a train to help move a mountain of hope for the less fortunate and economically disadvantage and BNSF understands the value of our programs,” said CEO Carol Rowen, ITEP. “BNSF was one of the first, and has been a long-time supporter of our programs that create opportunities in goods movement, transportation and logistics. This is a holiday blessing for ITEP.”
Rowen believes that minority and low-income students at Banning High will benefit the most. “Students can see the railway tracks. They can hear the whistles and rumble. But they do not see the connection between these things and school. They do not picture themselves in a transportation — the life-blood of the Southern California economy — career. BNSF is providing this missing component for Barstow California high school students,” said Rowen.
The funds will help establish an international trade, transportation, and logistics “Mojave XP Academy” at Barstow High School, located in Barstow, California. ITEP will work with Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s (BNSF) to unite the Barstow business community to provide a connection between education and the real world of work.
“Academy students will be prepared to graduate, take entry-level jobs or continue on to college. Industry will have the beginnings of a pipeline of potential new workers for the trade, transportation and logistics job cluster. With BNSF support, ITEP plans to work with Barstow’s business and educational community to develop a life changing and community building logistics academy,” explained Rowen.
Barstow’s new academy is modeled after ITEP’s six-year pilot tested Academies at Phineas Banning High School, which produced historical and unmatched academic and professional improvements for students.
“Our programs help increase graduation rates, decrease dropout rates, and enhance standardized test scores,” she said. Even those students who did graduate from struggling schools rarely had opportunities or motivation to pursue further education or employment. ITEP helps design programs to fulfill those needs by boosting education, work skills and work attitudes.”