Wayzata’s Compass Program Prepares Students for Life After High School
A standardized test likely won’t have any information about creating a personal brand, but in the real world, how you present yourself can make a huge difference in finding a job or advancing your career.
“What do others say about you, and what do you want them to say?” Lynn Bebeau said to a class at Wayzata High School.
Bebeau is helping to prepare a group of juniors and seniors for life after high school. Only she’s not a teacher, but rather, an executive from Bank of America who’s acting as a guest instructor.
“I just think it’s really important to help the students connect their learning to a professional life, to what they need to do in their lives moving forward,” Bebeau said.
For the past five years, business leaders like Bebeau have shared their expertise with students in Wayzata’s Compass Program. Wayzata partners with local businesses who help shape the curriculum and mentor students in the process.
“We rely on the concept that all of our young people come here with gifts, and we want them to recognize those gifts and be able to see where those gifts will be applicable inside of a given career,” said Scott Tordeur, a coordinator of the Compass program.
One of the students taking part in the program is Wayzata senior Nick Nermyr.
“With all the guest speakers we have, it shows you lots of different careers, lots of different people and what they do at their jobs,” Nermyr said.
Nermyr is one of more than a hundred students who had to go through an application process to be here. Each student dresses in business casual attire and devotes half their day to the class. They all get college credit and real-world knowledge.
“There’s a difference between doing research on a job and hearing about it, versus having a mentor who works in that job and being able to have a conversation with them about it,” Nermyr said. “So I definitely think that this is a class that will definitely help me narrow down what I want to do when I grow up.”
It’s never too early to think about life beyond high school, and professionals like Bebeau are happy to help these students choose the path that works for them.
“I’m inspired, because I think there is so much power in this generation,” Bebeau said.
Meanwhile, Wayzata High School is looking for more businesses to partner with and more people to act as mentors for the Compass program.