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Annual Academy Expo Leaves Lasting Impact on RPS 205 Freshmen

Letter from student

RPS 205 hosted the 11th Annual Academy Expo Oct. 19 with the help of more than 500 volunteers. Nearly 2,000 ninth grade students visited the Indoor Sports Center at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two to meet with over 100 businesses representing different careers.

This annual event helps students determine what Academy and Pathway they will choose for grades 10-12. It is one day in the life of a high school student, and for some, that day is truly impactful.

I spoke with East High School students Jannet Selemani and Babile Ramadhan, and both said they couldn't believe the opportunities that were available to them.

Jannet said, "I didn't know there were so many good jobs I could get without going to college." While Babile said, "I honestly never thought I could go to college until today."

Babile was speaking with representatives at the Rockford University/RPS 205 Education Pathway, where she learned about the scholarship opportunities available. Jannet spoke with the military about free education after serving.

Another student told representatives from the RPS 205 IT department (booth career demonstrators and best in show booth winners) that he had never thought of IT as a pathway until the Expo.

The Academy Expo really is just one day, but it's a day that is impactful for so many.

Survey results from booth hosts was overwhelmingly positive: 97 percent of business representatives said they want to come back next year, and 80 percent of them said they want to volunteer to serve our students in other ways. One businesswoman stated, "I was amazed at the interaction the kids had with us." This is what it's all about!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered, planned, and supported the 2022 Academy Expo.

Headshot of Bridget French

Bridget French

Bridget French was born and raised in Rockford and is a graduate of Auburn High School. She is the Rockford Public Schools Executive Director of College and Career Readiness, overseeing high school Academies, career and technical education, and middle and high school counselors. She is the mother of two sons, one in RPS 205, and one at NIU.

  • Academy Expo
  • Behind the Scenes