Middle school is a crucial period in a student’s life where they begin to develop their interests, talents, and values, which makes it an ideal time to introduce them to leadership, career exploration, and employability skills. That’s why Roosevelt Creative Corridor Business Academy launched a new Business Leadership Studies Class and Business Enrichment Series this year, becoming the first middle school in Iowa to offer its students a dedicated business course.

Teacher Abby Turley and Magnet Coordinator Kate Riley designed the programs to offer students a unique opportunity to gain experience and insight into various career fields by connecting with local business leaders. Their goal is to help students make informed decisions about their future career paths, along with equipping them with the skills they need to be successful in the future. The programs also allow students to see how their classroom learning is used in the real world.

In the Business Leadership Studies Class, students learn about business, literacy, the global economy, branding, graphic design, marketing, and financial literacy while also gaining leadership and employability skills. The Business Enrichment Series, on the other hand, is designed to give students a glimpse into real-world businesses. In 6th grade, students use the program Xello to help determine their interests, passions, and strengths. Students then use that data to help identify possible career paths. Then, in 7th & 8th grade, students get the opportunity to tour various companies and meet with local business leaders who share their career experiences and insights.

One standout session within the Business Enrichment Series occurred just in time for Halloween. Jes Harrington from Capri College joined students to teach them about career opportunities in special effects makeup artistry. Special effects makeup is just one of the topics covered at Capri College and is a part of earning a cosmetology license. Jes shared information about creating hauntingly realistic wounds, bruises, and other eerie effects using different makeup techniques. Then, students got a chance to try their hands at creating some gory Halloween looks. The hands-on experience not only sparked their creative imaginations but also piqued their interest in potential careers in the beauty and special effects makeup industry.

These Roosevelt programs are not only reshaping the traditional middle school curriculum, but they are also nurturing the business leaders of tomorrow.

If you know a local business leader or entrepreneur who would like to share their career with students, please email Abby Turley at aturley@crschools.us or Kate Riley at kriley@crschools.us.

Career Exploration at RCCBA