Imagine you’ve just started your first job. You’re probably just out of school, and much of the time, you don’t know what to do. You’ve never learned some of the real world skills needed to succeed. You have no help. It’s all up to you. It is scary - and a bunch of pressure.

Now picture that you’ve already experienced your first job. Envision starting that first job with some real world experience in your field. Imagine having had real world work experience designed to help you succeed in that first job. Imagine getting that training, right now, as part of your high school education. That is already a reality for students at Future School of Fort Smith.

Future School is a free public charter school for student’s grades 10th and 11th in the Fort Smith area. What makes Future School truly special is the internship program. Every Wednesday, students go out into the community and interact with business
people. The goal is to eventually obtain an internship with a local employer - with an employee assigned as their mentor. According to Future School students, the internship program offers real educational value.

“Communication skills and being able to be ready for something new at a moment’s notice” are major skills Brandon Skiles learned through his internship. He is a member of the school’s advisory council.

Amethyst Williams is one of the most active members of the Future School community. For her, networking is an important skill she learned through the internship program. How important? “Extremely important. Staying in my school-based network is limiting. Networking outside the school community gets me connected to more people. These connections allow for more community involvement. It also helps me be connected in a real world job search.”

Future School of Fort Smith offers an unique experience. It has many opportunities for young students as a Big Picture Learning School in Arkansas. Future School is truly remarkable, and it is there to benefit students across the area. like you, It is a school by teens, for teens. Visit fsfuture.org.


By Johnny Rose

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