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Jan 7, 2012 Full story: RecruitingBlogs.com

Partnerships matter in attracting youth to pursue a college education and careers in science and engineering.

Full Story
Valentino Martinez

Chesterfield, MO

#1 Jan 8, 2012
Partnerships matter in attracting youth to pursue a college education and careers in science and engineering.

The Chicago Board of Education created the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) in July, 1984, and in September, 1985, CHSAS opened its doors as the newest high school in the Chicago Public Schools, attracting students from all parts of the city.

This school was established at a time of great concern about the future of agricultural education and the agricultural industry in general. There is a nationwide effort underway to broaden the scope of teaching in and about agriculture beginning at the kindergarten level and extending through adulthood. At the high school level, there is strong interest in shifting the curriculum toward agribusiness and plant and animal sciences. Too few agricultural college graduates are available to fill the need for new professionals in agricultural science and business.( http://www.chicagoagr.org/about/history.jsp )

As the Manager for Staffing and University Relations, with Monsanto Ag, I was invited to Chair the Not-for-Profit "Friends of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences".

Monsanto, along with other designated leader representatives from: The Mercantile Exchange; The Chicago Board of Trade; Quaker Oats; The University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (Dr. Jesse Thompson) and others; including CHSAS Faculty & Student Parent reps-- were positioned as active “Friends to CHSAS” to provide support through: funding, mentoring, scholarships, internships and jobs to students who demonstrated an interest pursuing a college education and career in agriculture, natural resources & related sciences and in engineering.

The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences has long been looked at as a model for schools of this kind in other cities across the country. CHSAS serves as a model not only for its innovative curriculum, but also for dropout prevention and exceptional student motivation. CHSAS combines an academic learning environment with hands-on practice in a way that maximizes student success. CHSAS continues to produce outstanding graduates year after year, ever improving with a strong diversity representation…thanks to dedicated student, their efforts and the pioneering efforts of the Friends of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

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