We want to introduce you to some special people that we call “People of Pathways.”
But first, you might be wondering about Delaware Pathways. It’s an innovative way of getting students ready for their lives after high school, whether that means earning a post-secondary credential (like a certificate or apprenticeship), or going on to a 2- or 4-year degree. Pathways is the acknowledgement that not all students and not all jobs require (or even benefit from) a 4-year college education, and our students deserve to look at the full picture of opportunities waiting for them after high school.
In 2014, Delaware’s Departments of Education and Labor, along with the Governor’s office, Delaware Tech, Rodel Foundation, United Way of Delaware, and others joined forces to launch Delaware Pathways. It’s a set of curriculum focused on career and technical training, supported by real-world work-based learning experiences, that focuses on preparing students for college and career. There are 14 high-impact, demand-driven Pathways spanning a range of career choices.
Fast forward to 2017: This fall over 6,000 high school students will be enrolled in a Pathway, and Delaware is considered a national model for implementing a Pathways system. In fact, more than 100 educators from throughout the state and country came to the 2016 Delaware Pathways Conference to see our work in action.
So who are these “People of Pathways?”
In this blog, we’ll introduce you to many of the students, teachers, parents and employers of Pathways. They’re the students, educators, and employers inspiring postsecondary success for young people in Delaware, and we’re bringing you their stories every month. Stop back often or read them on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “People of Pathways” is brought to you thanks to our partner, the Rodel Foundation of Delaware.
Our first People of Pathways story comes from recent William Penn High School graduate Beatriz Ramirez, telling us her experience with the Culinary Arts Pathway and how it changed everything.
“When my family first moved here, I was 11, and didn’t speak English. I was shy and had an accent for a long time, so making friends was hard.
Some kids were not that nice and I just didn’t have the confidence to talk. But once I started doing the culinary program at William Penn, my chefs told me, ‘to be the best chef, you have to open up. You have to talk.’ Communicating with others is so important in this profession.
Now I know what I want to do with my life, thanks to the focus on careers at William Penn. At first, I picked culinary arts because I didn’t know what else to do. But I fell in love with it. And now I’m going to the Culinary Institute of America in the fall.
[Working at] the restaurant at Constitution Yards, we learn everything—from inventory to taking orders to creating daily specials. It’s kind of like our own little restaurant, and it gives us an idea of what’s in store for us in the future.”
Are you or someone you know interested in a culinary career? Find out more about the culinary pathway here. Recent statistics indicate that median salaries for head chefs with an associate degree can range from $42,000 to $64,000 depending upon location, according to Payscale.com. Salaries for Executive Chefs reach to $100,000 or more at fine dining establishments, according to CulinarySchools.org.
Beatriz is undoubtedly on a Pathway to Prosperity. We know she has a bright future ahead and wish her good luck on her Pathway!