Tag Archives: career exploration

And in the Last Quarter of 2015…

The last months of 2015 have flown, and 2016 is off to a fantastic start as we count down to the 16th Annual Scholarship Dinner, Oceans of Opportunity, set for Thursday, April 7, 2016. Save the date!

However, before we dive further into 2016, we’d like to share some of the great stories that made the last quarter of 2015 memorable. We thank you for everything you’ve done to help. ITEP students ended 2015 on a high note.

OCTOBER 2015

ITEP-2015 GPS FUTURE-CSUDHOur largest student outreach event, GPS Your Future, enabled almost 600 ITEP students to explore careers in maritime, finance, security, STEM, and the local trades (just to name a few) in an expanded expo hall and breakout sessions at CSU Dominguez Hills. Our industry partners shared insights with ITEP-supported career pathways in Barstow, Carson, Downey, Gardena, Harbor City, Los Angeles, San Pedro, and Wilmington. In total, 31 exhibitors, 34 speakers, and 9 sponsors joined us for the 6th annual career exploration event.

We would like to thank our event sponsors: California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), California Community Colleges – Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy hosted by Long Beach City College, Watson Land Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Real Property Collaborative, Los Angeles Harbor College, Bank of America, Comerica, and Santa Monica College.


 

ITEP-JA-Finance Park-Gardena High SchoolMore than 70 ITEP students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy learned the importance of financial responsibility at the Junior Achievement of Southern California Finance Park! In a real-life setting of stores, shops, and financial institutions, students learned about every day budgeting and the importance of making sound financial decisions.

Thank you, Junior Achievement of Southern California, for the opportunity to participate in this great event and for your continued support and partnership.


 

ITEP-DUSD-CCPT-2015ITEP began working with the Downey Unified School District (DUSD) to support the transformation of their career education programs district-wide. MADE: A Career Initiative launched in October 2015 and brought together the entire DUSD (elementary, middle, and high schools), the city of Downey, local businesses, and ITEP.

DUSD is a recipient of the California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) grant, and has subcontracted with ITEP to provide intermediary services such as internships. Our team is currently working with the DUSD and local partners to lead the development of an internship program that will be exclusive for Downey area youth.

“We are excited to expand upon the strong reputation we have built working with our LAUSD schools and move into a district-wide consultant role for Downey,” said Amy Grat, ITEP CEO.


 

ITEP-welcome banquets-Banning High SchoolEvery fall, ITEP freshmen receive a formal introduction to their pathways through Welcome Banquets. For Phineas Banning High School, this meant hundreds of new and bright faces in 5 pathways! All new students received a brief overview of ITEP, and opportunities/events available to them. The events also allow freshmen to practice their networking and team-building skills through activities and one-to-one interactions with ITEP staff and industry partners that serve as advisory board members, speakers, mentors, and internship providers.


 

ITEP-California Maritime Academy-Banning High School-Port of LATwenty-six ITEP students from Banning High School’s Global Safety & Security (GSS) Academy participated in the annual five-day trip to California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) in Vallejo, CA. Our 10th and 11th grade students imagined many maritime dreams, and completed basic safety training alongside Steve Mangold from the Port of Los Angeles, ITEP volunteer and GSS advisory board member.

Thank you, Metro Ports, for funding this field trip for 10 years running!


 

ITEP-PASHA-Banning High School-ITA-NYLF-2015Eighteen ITEP students from Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF). This year’s theme was National Security – Diplomacy, Intelligence & Defense. The six-day program prepared students for careers in defense, intelligence, and the diplomatic corps through a career fair, work site visits, and real-world simulations

We’d like to express our gratitude to Jeff Burgin and the entire PASHA team, who have sponsored this trip for the past 14 years!


NOVEMBER 2015

ITEP-Kevin Oliphant-Sedgwick-Carson High School-GBLGKevin Oliphant from Sedgwick visited ITEP students from Carson High School’s Global Business Law and Government (GBLG) pathway. Thirty-three students from GBLG’s Virtual Enterpise learned about Kevin’s career track, and received information on budgeting, financial analysis, and forecasting.

Thank you, Kevin and Sedgwick for investing in our students.


 

ITEP-Linked Learning-United Way-City National Bank-Dorsey High School-BCAMITEP and its Linked Learning partner, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, connected 26 students from Dorsey High School’s Business and Culinary Arts Management (BCAM) pathway with 8 City National Bank employees to learn about their career tracks in culinary arts, marketing, finance, digital production, event planning, and IT. Events like these that show students that bankers are not the only prominent figures in a financial institution.

A special thank you to City National Bank for showing students the way up! We are also grateful for our extraordinary partner, United Way.


 

ITEP-Carson High School-ESET-Tesoro-Republic ServicesITEP students from Carson High School’s Environmental Science Engineering and Technology (ESET) pathway mixed things up by coordinating a different type of welcome banquet for their freshmen. The “Prep For Success” Retreat welcomed 120 freshmen and 30 seniors to the South Coast Botanical Gardens. The all-day retreat allowed students to learn more about ESET and build their communication, leadership, and team building skills. These freshmen are on their way to high school success!

We would like to thank Tesoro and Republic Services who sponsored student swag for the event. We’d also like to acknowledge our host, the South Coast Botanical Gardens and last, but not least, Ms. Tammy Bird, lead teacher at Carson High School, and all staff/chaperones who support our students and staff year-round.


 

ITEP-LAWA-Day of Discovery-Carson High School-ESETTwenty-five ITEP students from Carson High School’s Environmental Science Engineering and Technology (ESET) pathway attended Day of Discovery presented by the Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). Students interacted with more than 26 aviation-related companies and heard from General Kevin P. Chilton, Space Shuttle Endeavour Pilot, and Space Shuttle Atlantis Commander.

We’d like to thank LAWA for coordinating and inviting us to this wonderful event. We’d also like to acknowledge General Chilton for sharing his story about driving the Endeavour into space, and giving our students a special shout-out during the event.


 

ITEP-Jorge Martinez-Global Pro Logistics-Gardena High School-GLAITEP students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy heard from Jorge Martinez of Global Pro Logistics, and learned about Microsoft Office skills necessary to excel in any workplace. The presentation was part of “Ctrl+Alt+Del,” Workshop 2 of our 2016 Internship Program. In total, 134 potential interns will compete with their peers for summer internships this year!

Thank you, Jorge and Global Pro Logistics for dedicating time and resources to Gardena High School.


 

ITEP-22nd Annual Policy Conference-POLA-POLB-Carson-GardenaTeachers from Carson and Gardena High Schools joined ITEP staff at the Pat Brown Institute’s 22nd Policy Conference, “The Ports of LA and Long Beach: Links in a Chain.” The event is aimed at bringing additional light to the ports and supply chain world – industries that are unexplored by many, yet do so much to drive our local economies. We learned much in speeches from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, as well as the numerous industry panels.


 

ITEP-USCG-Day of Discovery 2015-Photographer RHuezoOur 7th Annual Day of Discovery event took place at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Terminal Island and proved to be our largest to date! More than 320 ITEP students from Barstow, Carson, Gardena, Phineas Banning (Wilmington), and San Pedro High Schools attended. New participants included Narbonne High School (Harbor City) and Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School (Carson) along with a new ITEP-supported business-themed pathway in San Pedro High School.

A total of 10 displays/demonstrations were available for exploration and represented U.S. Coast Guard careers in the areas of Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Emergency Response, and Navigation.

We were also thrilled to welcome the Daily Breeze on the base. The paper included a short photo gallery of the event on their webpage. You can view it here.

Click here to view more event photos on our Facebook Page!

Special thank you to LTJG Shaun Doyle, Captain Jennifer Williams, and the rest of our Coastie friends at the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.


 

ITEP-United Way LA-Homewalk 2015ITEP staff participated in United Way’s 2015 HomeWalk and raised $1,042 to help end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles. Go ITEP team and United Way!


DECEMBER 2015

ITEP-2nd annual ITA Business Entrepreneurship Expo-Banning High School-ITAITEP students from Phineas Banning High School’s International Trade Academy (ITA) kicked off the 2nd annual ITA Business Entrepreneurship Expo. The event was created to prepare ITEP students for this year’s Virtual Enterprise Business Competition, set to take place in February. Students split up into teams and were given 60 seconds to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges. Each judge evaluated student groups in the following areas: marketing/sales, HR, elevator pitches, business plans, and website design.

We’d like to thank our business volunteers and supporters who contributed to the event’s success: Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Phillips 66, Port of Los Angeles Port Pilots, and Yusen Logistics.


 

ITEP-Narbonne High School-Business and Technology Pathway-Holiday Mixer 2015First the harbor, and now Harbor City! In early December, we celebrated our newly added Business and Technology career pathway at Narbonne High School with a holiday-themed mixer.

This new career pathway will follow the ITEP model and bring career awareness, career exploration, career training, and paid work experience to 418 students in the first year! Additionally, curriculum will be aligned to meet the pathway needs as well. Read more about the event here.

We’d like to acknowledge Los Angeles Harbor College, the Harbor City/Harbor Gateway Chamber of Commerce, LAUSD school district, and Narbonne High School teachers (especially our new lead teacher, Mrs. Carol Shaw-Loose) and staff for all their support and hard work. We’re ready to accomplish great things with these bright Gauchos!


 

ITEP-Ports America-West Basin Container Terminal-San Pedro High School-GEHFor the 3rd year, West Basin Container Terminal LLC (WBCT) and its parent company, Ports America, welcomed ITEP students from San Pedro High School’s Global Environmental House (GEH) to their terminal for a holiday luncheon, employee raffle, and exclusive tour. Students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc. Moreover, all proceeds raised from the employee raffle directly benefit our Pirates- $6,101 in total!

For many harbor area students, this was their first time exploring the working world that enables thousands of goods to move in and out of the Port of Los Angeles – and it’s all in their backyard.

We’re extremely grateful to call Ports America a lead partner. Their generosity goes above and beyond the classroom and into the community where so many of our youth are curious to explore their future careers. Thank you, WBCT and Ports America!


 

ITEP-thank you

We are so grateful for the outpouring of generosity from our supporters to the 2015 year-end fundraising campaign. This year’s contributions wildly exceeded our expectations – your donations surpassed the 2014 campaign by more than 500%! What an incredible way to end the month and year! Thank you!


 

ITEP-staff-Carson-Christmas 2015The stories and successes you are reading about here were made possible because of you. Your support has fueled our continued growth – we moved to a larger office space last summer and our team continues to grow to support the 88% increase of students in our network over the last school year.

We look forward to partnering with you in 2016 to inspire more college and career dreams.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Dorsey High School, Downey High School, Gardena High School, ITEP, Narbonne High School, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, San Pedro High School

Five Things Students Learned at Our Annual “GPS Your Future” Event

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Expo hall at CSU Dominguez Hills filled with ITEP students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Take charge of today and plan for tomorrow. Earlier this fall, this is exactly what over 580 ITEP students did during our annual GPS Your Future event, held at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Here are the 5 things our students learned during the event:

1. It’s never too early to network
ITEP students explored our biggest expo hall to date! With more exhibitors this year than ever before (31 total), students had the opportunity to explore a variety of booths manned by great event sponsors and supporters like the Port of Los Angeles, Bank of America, Long Beach City College, SoCalGas, DoubleTree Hotel Carson, and trades represented by Ironworkers Local Union 416 and Pile Drivers Local 2375.

Hard hats and suits came together to educate our young leaders on life after high school and career options in their communities. Students who envisioned following one career path left the day curious to explore a new track. One ITEP student from Phineas Banning High School revealed that he was always interested in becoming an engineer, but after speaking with a U.S. Coast Guard representative, he is considering a new career.

2. Let the fear go and ask questions
Students (and even some professionals) are often afraid to ask questions. Our thoughts sometimes get the best of us and we hold back and the exploration process stops. GPS Your Future was created to spark curiosity and give students a forum to begin navigating and discovering a brighter future. In order to help the exploration process, all ITEP students and exhibitors participated in a “Ticket to Success” activity. Each student received a “ticket” that was filled with a sticker every time they asked a compelling question to an exhibitor. At the end of the event, the top three students who collected the most stickers received a reward. Shout out to Gardena and Dorsey High Schools for asking terrific questions and making the most of our expo hall!

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An exhibitor rewards an ITEP student with a sticker for the “Ticket to Success” activity during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

3. Always dress for success
Will Rogers said it best: “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Even as a high school freshman, you never know whom you might meet at your next field trip or an event like GPS Your Future. ITEP students took note and dressed as young professionals, not typical freshmen. Even our exhibitors and speakers commented on how impressed they were with our students. Check out how sharp they looked!

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ITEP students pose for a picture during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event held at CSUDH.

4. Love what you do, always
Our students heard firsthand life lessons from our keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi, Director of Systems Integration, Test and Launch at Boeing. Mr. Pirozzi also serves on the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commission and is a San Pedro High School alum. His love for electronics and STEM started at a very young age while fixing televisions with his father. Today, he launches satellites into space.

“I didn’t know I was going to do this… I can put a satellite in space, but I still can’t fix a television. When you’re in something that you love, you find a way to continue to grow and with that comes different rewards,” exclaimed Pirozzi.

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Keynote speaker, Anthony Pirozzi from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

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Jesse Gomez from Boeing, addresses students during ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event.

Another Boeing employee, Jesse Gomez, shared the stage with Mr. Pirozzi. Mr. Gomez is a System Engineering Lead and a big STEM proponent. His road to success began while serving in the U.S. Army as a Flight Operations Specialist. Thank you, Boeing for introducing ITEP students to STEM and promoting the success of all youth.

5. Be enthusiastic
Our students were in the best environment to practice great eye contact and firm handshakes. The expanded expo hall allowed for many one-on-one conversations and small breakout rooms provided an intimate classroom atmosphere so that even the most shy attendee felt welcomed. This year, we also utilized CSUDH’s Financial Market Trading and Business Simulation Lab, which enabled students to feel like they were in the middle of Wall Street. A 22-foot-wide LED ticker tape and 110-inch video wall displayed current news from the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We’re sure tomorrow’s stockbroker was allured and impressed!

ITEP_2015 GPS FUTURE_photographer Taso Papadakis_224

Two engineers from Tesoro discuss their road to success during a breakout session at ITEP’s 6th Annual “GPS Your Future” event. Thank you, Tesoro!

Whether it’s a job in finance, the goods movement, STEM, or hospitality, GPS Your Future makes options visible and attainable for ITEP students. The event is just the beginning of many career dreams. The rest is yet to be written, so stay tuned.

To view additional event photos, please visit our Facebook Page here.

A special thank you to our event sponsors: CSU Dominguez Hills, California Community Colleges-Doing What Matters for Global Trade and Logistics hosted by Long Beach City College, Watson Land Company, Los Angeles World Airports, Los Angeles Harbor College, Real Property Collaborative, Bank of America, Comerica, and Santa Monica College. 

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Dorsey High School, Downey High School, Gardena High School, Narbonne High School, Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School, San Pedro High School, Warren High School

Coastie for a Day: Careers at a Berth and Beyond

It’s not every day that you get to meet an intelligence specialist, an electrician, a recruiter, and a K9 unit all on the same day. However, that’s exactly what ITEP students were able to do during ITEP’s Day of Discovery at the U.S. Coast Guard Base, Los Angeles-Long Beach. Students from Barstow, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, and Phineas Banning High Schools spent the day in San Pedro to explore careers offered by the U.S. Coast Guard.

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ITEP students explore a U.S. Coast Guard “helo” after it lands on the Los Angeles-Long Beach base during our “Day of Discovery.”

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ITEP students visited stations throughout the base to explore U.S. Coast Guard careers. At this station, students received a demo on the Coast Guard’s role in handling oil spills.

Check out more photos from our recent Day of the Discovery here and don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook Page!

In collaboration with the Coast Guard’s Partnership in Education (PIE) Program and thanks to the great support from PIE Coordinator LTJG Kristen Bradley, ITEP students began their field trip by watching a Coast Guard “helo” (helicopter) land on the base.

After receiving a very warm welcome from the Sector Commander and Captain of the Port Jennifer Williams, students then explored stations throughout the base to learn about search and rescue, emergency response, law enforcement, medical services, navigation, and the branch’s K9 unit. ITEP students were also introduced to Coast Guard Officer Programs available to college students.

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Our great Coastie plays the role of an injured patient while ITEP students work together to place a neck brace on him.

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ITEP students explore the U.S. Coast Guard Boat Station to learn about search and rescue and navigation.

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At this particular station, ITEP students learn about law enforcement and security practices within the U.S. Coast Guard.

When asked what he loved most about ITEP and activities like Day of Discovery, Cristian said, “Getting to meet new people, honestly. Getting to know their stories and all that – how they came to be where they’re at and what they had to go through to become who they are now. That’s what I love the most.”

“I learned a lot about the Coast Guard… You have a lot of opportunities available for you. There’s a little bit more freedom than any other branches… I really, really like this place,” he added. Cristian is a current ITEP Junior from Barstow High School’s Mojave Express Logistics Academy (MXP).

 We thank our Coasties for showing ITEP students that there are men and women in uniform who care about their futures and the endless careers that wait for them at a berth and beyond.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Cabrillo High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, Mojave XP

ITEP Students Dive Into STEM with Underwater Robots

They dove and they swam – underwater robots that is!

On April 17th, we celebrated the completion of ITEP’s first Underwater Robotics Program. A total of 22 ninth graders from Banning High School completed the 8-week program that was funded by Phillips 66 and supported by the Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship USS Iowa.

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ITEP students from Banning High School’s first Underwater Robotics Program show off their robots to family and guests during their Culmination Ceremony at the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA.

Check out more photos from the Culmination Ceremony here and don’t forget to LIKE our Facebook Page. 

Students were divided into seven groups to construct their underwater robots, from concept to completion using SeaPerch kits. The program also included three, after-school field trips and one overnight trip at the Battleship USS Iowa. During the field trips, students learned about the naval history of battleships, tested their knowledge of the metric system, learned how to calculate ocean turbidity and depth, and explored marine radar. Keep in mind that these aspiring engineers are only in ninth grade!

First adventure aboard the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA. Students received an overview of the history of the battleship and tested their knowledge of the metric system.

First adventure aboard the USS Iowa in San Pedro, CA. Students received an overview of the history of the battleship and tested their knowledge of the metric system.

I think that it’s an experience that I would’ve never gotten if I wasn’t in this particular program,”  said Viviana Gallardo, freshman at Banning High School. . . . Actually having that hands-on experience instead of people just coming over and describing it, gave me more of a push to kinda look into majors aside from what I’m thinking of right now. I’m actually thinking about or looking into an engineering major.”

Viviana originally planned to study psychology, receive a PhD, and become a child psychologist. Her advice to future program participants: “Keep an open mind about engineering.”

Mike Haworth, an engineer from Phillips 66, helped students improve their robot assembly by providing tips on waterproofing and soldering for underwater operation.

Mike Haworth [RIGHT], an engineer from Phillips 66, helped students improve their robot assembly by providing tips on waterproofing and soldering for underwater operation.

During their second field trip to the USS Iowa, ITEP students learned how to calculate two of the most important nautical measurements: ocean turbidity and depth.

During their second field trip to the USS Iowa, ITEP students learned how to calculate two of the most important nautical measurements: ocean turbidity and depth.

During their third field trip, ITEP students were introduced to the world of radar - how radar is used on ships, as well as during battle. The field trip also included exclusive access to the Command Engagement Center, where war plans were once created.

During their third field trip, ITEP students were introduced to the world of radar – how radar is used on ships, as well as during battle. The field trip also included exclusive access to the Command Engagement Center, where war plans were once created.

ITEP students test their underwater robots at Banning High School.

ITEP students test their underwater robots at Banning High School.

ITEP would like to thank our sponsor and supporters (listed below) for their immense support. We look forward to creating more college and career dreams in STEM. 

The Phillips 66 Team: Janet Grothe, Nancy Perez, and Michael Haworth

Mike Getscher and Joshua Stutz from the Pacific Battleship Center – Battleship USS Iowa

Banning High School Faculty & Administration: Principal Rudy Mendoza, Dominic Lackey, and Marci Lischer

Harbor Commissioner Anthony Pirozzi, Port of Los Angeles

Office of Councilman Joe Buscaino, City of L.A., District 15

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Filed under Banning High School, Maritime Scholars, PATHS

The UK Comes to LA with British Consulate’s Visit to Gardena High School

On May 1st, over 25 students from Gardena’s Global Leadership Academy (GGLA) ventured across the pond  to the United Kingdom from the comfort of their third period Government class.

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GGLA Advisory Board Chair and Director at BNY Mellon, Rob Vickery, shares UK fun facts with students.

The UK came to GLA in the form of a special visit by Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA. With the help of GGLA Advisory Board Chair, Rob Vickery, who is also the Director of Wealth Management at BNY Mellon, our high-profile visitor immersed GGLA  into the UK culture and an introduction to international careers. Students learned about the role of the British Consulate in Los Angeles and throughout the world, and the importance of learning emerging languages like Mandarin and Spanish.

Did you know that over 300 languages are spoken in Great Britain?

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Ying Yee, Deputy Consul-General for the British Consulate in LA talks about the Foreign Service and international careers.

Gardena High School students played both tourists and hosts. In the days leading to Ms. Yee’s presentation, students prepared for the private group discussion by organizing marketing pitches for Great Britain and learning the basics of global economics. Now the time had come to present, and despite a few ‘ums’ and shaky voices, you couldn’t help but feel proud of our young people, representing their school to their global visitor wearing bow ties and business skirts.

A temporary escape from the ordinary classroom laid the foundation for a global perspective.

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Two Gardena High School students present to their special guest and classmates. Subjects covered by students ranged from the life of Winston Churchill to the UK Legislative Branch.

“I think one thing I learned is that by making connections now, they always lead to other connections later down the path… The future looks bright,” said Cameron, student presenter and Gardena High School senior.

“I want to go into bio-engineering,” added Cameron. The tall, JROTC officer said this proudly, but now had a global view of the job. “… Maybe helping out a different country’s government in terms of science, policies – helping their people get what they need. I feel as though that would be a very good field for me.”

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Cameron, JORTC cadet and Gardena High School student, talks with Ms. Yee and GGLA support staff.

Then there was Helen, who was contemplating the medical field. Ms. Yee’s speech on international careers and the Foreign Service seemed to come at a fitting time. As a senior, she was captivated by the promise of travel and assistance to other individuals, possibly through a future role in an embassy.

“…It really opened my eyes to a whole new different world that I wasn’t aware of… It actually made me change my mind on what I want to do… I like helping people… and I always thought a way to help a person was through the medical field. Now I’m thinking of psychology or religious studies to learn about other cultures,” said Helen.

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Gardena High School students network with Ms. Yee after her presentation.

An imaginary trip of sorts was the beginning of something bigger.

“I’m really glad my classmates got involved, and I thought it was a privilege, so thank you,” said Helen with a bubbly smile.

ITEP students are natural-born explorers and travelers.

Help us build the next set of global citizens and scholars. Visit the ITEP website to see how you can get involved. 

For event photos, visit the ITEP Facebook Page.

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SPEA Goes Global in their Backyard

Our blog has been a bit quiet during these past weeks – apologies to all our readers! December and January flew by, and February isn’t slowing down. The ITEP team likes to keep things exciting to say the least. We just completed our GPS Your Future event, the 2013 ITEP Board Retreat and now are prepping for our Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Below is a quick overview of the amazing field trip that wrapped up our 2012. We promise more recaps in the coming days.

WBCT Luncheon and Tour – December 2012
West Basin Container Terminal LLC  (WBCT) was the destination and this time it was San Pedro High Earth Alert students (SPEA) who navigated their uncharted neighborhood. The event began with a luncheon filled with good old-fashioned barbecue, plenty of desserts and an amazing employee raffle.

SPEA students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc., and of course, Pirate Santa. All proceeds from the raffle directly benefitted ITEP’s SPEA academy – a cool $3,400. GO WBCT and SPEA!

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Top: 12th grade SPEA students, Tierrah and Hailey post with WBCT’s “Pirate Santa.” Middle: A view from WBCT’s Marine Tower. Bottom: Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent discusses cargo operations with SPEA.

Students then began their tour and entered the Marine Tower (the center of all cargo operations). The building houses the clerks, computers and live imaging of containers “on the go”.

SPEA students then stood directly underneath a 1600-ton crane capable of moving 30-35 containers an hour. Overall, WBCT processes 15-20,000 containers per week. A special shout-out to our tour guide, Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent for WBCT. Rusty did a great job of getting our SPEA students dreaming and talking.

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WBCT staff and SPEA group stand underneath a 1600-ton crane. The cranes move along the terminal and operate 30-35 containers per hour.

I want to go to school, study business and start my own company. I would love to work here (at the ports) too. I grew up with this. I love this place,” stated Hailey, 12th grade SPEA student.

The conversation continued as all students together with WBCT staff came together to hear Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager, answer questions and share advice.

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Roundtable discussion with Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager for WBCT (far right).

“The waterfront is uncharted territory for many. People don’t know what goes on at these terminals. There are various moving parts and it’s evolving… In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a larger presence of women… some of best drivers we have are females” stated Paxton, who talked about the unknown job opportunities at the ports and immediately caught the attention of our female students.

With conversations and interest at its peak, we couldn’t think of a better way to end a field trip or 2012, but then the goodie bags rolled out. Gift cards, smiles and swag filled the room and students left the terminal with new appreciation for the cranes and containers they see almost every day.

The tour was just one of the many ways WBCT and its parent company, Ports America, make a huge impact on Harbor Area youth. From the “aha!” moments on a field trip to the deeper dives into careers, Paxton and his team are there for ITEP students year-round as mentors, guest speakers and role models. Also, the $3400 donation from this employee raffle combined with corporate sponsorship from Ports America is a much-needed and valuable investment in our community and youth.

“Money is like manure. It’s useless unless you spread it around to help young things grow,” said Paxton.

Thank you, WBCT!

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Two SPEA students pose with their new swag from WBCT.

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Filed under San Pedro High School, SPEA

Delivering Goods and Dreams: SWAG Explores Careers in Transportation

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View of the ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility) at Union Pacific Railroad in Long Beach, CA.

A trip on the big, yellow school bus took SWAG (Students with Ambitious Goals) participants from Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High School through an adventure in the world of transportation and logistics. Could freight be fascinating? Both students and teachers thought so. The SWAG group divided into two small groups and began their two separate journeys on a chilly, Tuesday afternoon. The first group was dropped off at TTS-I (Total Transportation Services, Inc.) in Rancho Dominguez, CA. The second SWAG group visited Union Pacific Railroad in Long Beach, CA.

“It was cool because you see everything that comes with getting things transported across the US,” stated Regina, Cabrillo High sophomore and SWAG participant. Regina hopes to major in engineering, specifically sound engineering. She admits that although the trip didn’t directly relate to her desired major, it gave her plenty to think about.

“The SWAG program helps me with engineering. By looking at many areas, it gives me more ideas about what I want to be in the future,” stated Regina. “Everything is hands on and it’s self-motivating. If you want it, you go for it.”

At TTS-I, students and staff were given a warm welcome by Tony Williamson, Director of Business Development and Marketing and Timothy Watts, Director of Warehouse Operations and the group’s official tour guide.

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SWAG participants and teachers from Cabrillo High School view TTS-I’s new zero emission, hydrogen-powered truck.

The first stop included a view inside the company’s new zero emission, hydrogen-powered truck. The SWAG group was able to see and feel the inside of the truck and its instrumental panel. Over 100 of these “green” trucks are expected to hit the highways of Los Angeles (CA) and Houston (TX) by the end of the 2014.

The group then enjoyed a tour of an NEC Logistics warehouse where they viewed a variety of products – paper cups, molasses, glitter toy balls and shoes. “The kids and teachers were very engaged during the warehouse tour because they were able to witness the flow of freight in the US,” stated, Tony Williamson. “72 percent of freight in the US comes through the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles – these are the gateway to the nation.” As for TTS-I, the campus sees close to 200,000 shipments every year from locations worldwide.

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SWAG participants and Cabrillo High Schools teachers explore an NEC Logistics warehouse.

The last stops included a visit to dock where trucks are loaded and unloaded continuously, and a view of the TTS-I yard or “parking lot” for all company trucks. The tour completed with a hearty lunch and plenty of TTS-I swag to go around.

“Many students are not aware of the possible jobs/careers out there. By going on trips like this, they get a better understanding of how the world works and have more jobs/majors in college to consider. The amount of steps that it requires for something to get from the factory/farm to our shelves is amazing. The biggest impact for me was the incredible amount of coordination that is required between the different parties at each step,” stated Cabrillo High School teacher, Chelsea McCormick.

Over at Union Pacific Railroad, Cabrillo High sophomores met Andy Perez, the company’s Director of Port Affairs Corporate Relations. After enjoying pizza and refreshments, the SWAG group caught a bird’s eye view of the company’s ICTF (Intermodal Container Transfer Facility). Every day, containers are transported from the ports and taken to this facility. From here, the containers are double-stacked and await their journey via train through the Alameda Corridor and to various destinations in the US.

The SWAG group also traveled to the company’s tower – “the control room” for Union Pacific where they met the hard-working team that controls and monitors the items that come into Union Pacific 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The field trip sparked the curiosity of Brenda, another SWAG participant and aspiring lawyer.

“It gets me thinking about becoming a lawyer in this industry. I can benefit from all this later,” stated Brenda. This young sophomore is dreaming big and thinking big as well.

“The whole reason for being a lawyer is to help those that cannot be helped. I’m the first one (in my family) to go to college, so it’s my responsibility to assist others so that they give back. I started from scratch so I have to set the bar higher for others.”

It’s amazing what a field trip and freight can stir within the minds of young adults. They truly have swag and represent SWAG in the best way. We would like to send a huge “thank you” to our supporters and partners for making another great outing possible.

Now it’s time to plan the next field trip which will introduce SWAG to careers in building trades. Our gracious host will be the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers). Stay tuned!

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Filed under Cabrillo High School, Exploring Careers in Long Beach, SWAG