Genesys Works has established many school partnerships within the Twin Cities metro area, but one advocate in particular has gone above and beyond to establish an up-and-coming partnership between Brooklyn Center High School (BCHS) and Genesys Works.
Last Spring, a guidance counselor at BCHS, Mrs. Kelli Hillestad, assisted four seniors with the Genesys Works application during the program's first year of recruitment there. After a long eight weeks of learning computer and professional skills, all four were placed in paid internships at major organizations such as Capella University and Maslon Law Firm. Additionally, she has collaborated with Genesys Works program coordinators to keep the students on track with the college application process by encouraging the students to sign up for the ACT, providing open lines of communication, and informing Genesys Works of recruitment opportunities before the scheduled recruitment season. Without school champions like Mrs. Hillestad, Genesys Works would not be successful and only hope to gain more extraordinary students in the future from the Brooklyn Center school district.
When asked why she thought Genesys Works was a good fit for Brooklyn Center High School, Mrs. Hillestad replied, “Many of our average students do not qualify for our honors programs, AVID, Upward bound, or PSEO (post-secondary enrollment option) due to many external factors in their lives. Genesys Works is such a great fit for this type of student because there is not a GPA or test score requirement that they have to have to be part of the program. It has helped open up so many doors for students that need that carrot to be motivated to succeed in school and in the work force.”
Additionally, she decided to be a personal advocate for Genesys Works because she believes “that every student deserves a chance to be successful; Genesys Works offers this chance to students. I have personally witnessed students that were not motivated to come to school and did not really care if they graduate do a full 360 and become motivated, on track to graduate, and ready to be a contributing member to society because of Genesys Works. I look forward to involving more of Brooklyn Center’s students in this amazing program.”
The Genesys Works team is grateful for the incredible support of Kelli and her fellow staff members at Brooklyn Center High School and we look forward to growing this partnership in the months and years to come. Special thanks to Superintendent Keith Lester, for his initiative and enthusiastic leadership in bringing the Genesys Works program to Brooklyn Center. With leaders like Keith and Kelli, it's no wonder the Brooklyn Center school system is fast becoming a model for educational efficiency and reform. Well done!