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Closing the Savvy Gap

Academia Avance students in WEE program and LIfe Prep Program internships

Culminating in professional learning experiences during senior year, Avance’s Life Prep Program is a four year College and Career Readiness Curriculum. Academia Avance is on the front lines of changing the future for our small public high school students by offering every high school student a focused course of study on financial aid, testing, applying to colleges, real world work opportunities and more. By enabling this wisdom and hands-on activity for our high schoolers, we are attempting to bridge the gap between those students who have access to businesses, internships, networks of professional opportunities -- and those who do not. The savvy gap! 

The Life Prep Program at Avance prepares students to persist in college alongside full awareness of the expectations of the professional workplace. Three days a week every senior heads off to an internship in the medical, legal or business field. Mentoring, life skills and many networking and lifelong relationships begin. 

Avance Seniors complete a professional internship in a setting aligned with their interests in one of over three dozen enterprises like: 

  • Huntington Memorial Hospital

  • VETCO Veterinary Clinic

  • Rock Rose Art Gallery

  • MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund)

  • Radio Station KPFK

  • Waldorf School of Pasadena

  • Red House Realty

  • Highland Park Medical Science College 

Seniors show up to school looking professional and ready for their work day. From October to April, they take one class in the morning then head off to their internship. Back on campus by 2 pm, our seniors head into their writing class where they detail their work experiences. Through these internships our students learn about professional decorum, from handshakes to phone etiquette, to the responsibility of managing multiple tasks and deadlines to effective business communication. 

Says Ricardo Mireles, Avance’s Executive Director and passionate visionary of the Life Prep Program: 

“Students are making critical decisions in their senior year that are going to impact their career paths for the next 10 years in terms of which majors they will choose, which schools they want to go, what profession. So these internships offer them real opportunities to get real work experiences so they can make better decisions.”

Academia Avance and Life Prep Program senior at internshipBy 2025, California might be 1.5 million workers short, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. Every state nationwide is wrestling with how to find enough skilled labor.  Internships can play a key role in enabling the next generation of able professional workers. By empowering Avance students over their first three years of school with us, we see great success at internships in their senior year. Our students  gain amazing opportunities in local businesses, make confident choices in what they want to study in college and begin to establish a professional network as they apply to and persist in college. Savvy gap closed! 

Enrolling now for fall 2021, Academia Avance is tuition-free for grades 9-12. Join us. Avance es mi coach

About Academia Avance

Avance sets the standard for public charter school excellence via rigorous college and career preparation that inspires a lifetime of learning and leading. We place quality education first, and we deeply value a professional culture of community, diversity and fiscal and social responsibility. Enrolling now for grades 6-12. Join us

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