We recommend adhering to the following when sharing stories:
- Follow your organization’s guidelines on using student stories (e.g., written permission from parents of minor children, etc.)
- Consider creating a short version (100 words) and a longer version (300-400 words) of the story. Short versions are flexible for social posting and newsletters, and you can always post the longer version on the website and link to it.
- Consider a simple structure that describes a problem and how it’s being addressed through CCL: e.g., not enough engineering students of color; a student unsure about their post-high school path, etc.
- Use specifics like program names, teacher, and student names, etc.
- Include an action the audience can take – learn more, call us, email us.
There are two general categories of stories: program-focused and student-focused.
These stories help students and families understand the experience and the value of a CCW program. They also help spread good program ideas and best practices.
- Program description
- Student age group
- History (established or new program)
- Unique aspects (STEM, equity-focused outreach, graduation rates, etc.)
- Third-party validation (quotes from people outside program, including students, families, employers, community leaders)
Sample (lightly edited from a real submission)
Right now, only 6-8% of UW engineering graduates are students of color. Lake Quinault School middle school teacher Michael Kenney is seeking to disrupt that number by giving his students early experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Lake Quinault School is known for its ethnic diversity, and this school year is no exception with 40% White, 36% Hispanic, 21% Native American, and 3% of students identifying with two or more races.
As a middle school science and technology teacher, Kenney offers a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Program that consists of 14 students: 7 Hispanic, 6 White, and 1 Native American. The science elective class designs, builds, tests, and evaluates the underwater robots which easily integrates the four components of STEM. Four teams of Lake Quinault students compete against other schools in the Olympic Peninsula region, and this year they will compete against schools statewide. They continue to earn multiple first and second place trophies in both the Navigator Class and the Scout Class.
The engineering and competitive successes are also evolving into a leadership experience: Kenney’s students recently led a workshop for other students, showing them how to design and build the hydraulic arm and claw that helped his students win last school year’s competition.
For more information, visit (website) or contact (person or org).
These stories help students and families understand the experience and the value of a CCW program. Elements can include:
- A student’s journey (eg., as a result of their career-connected learning experience, they experience a change of mindset, plans, grades, etc.)
- Description of the student
- Description of the program
- Quote from student
- Quote from employer, manager, program lead, teacher, etc.
Sample Student Story
As a low-income, homeless teenager in Tacoma Washington, Sabrina Chmelir struggled to access education and economic services. She found a unique opportunity through the Next Move Internship program at Tacoma Public Schools to gain her first professional workplace experience while still in high school, interning with the Tacoma Art Museum and Metro Parks Tacoma.
Sabrina’s internship experience fired up her interest in finding a pathway to become a public servant. Even though no one in her family had previously attended college, Sabrina became the first member of her family to do so. Sabrina founded a first-generation college student mentorship program while still at university, helping other low-income and first generation students understand what norms and practices could help them succeed in the workplace. Today, Sabrina works at the Pierce County Council District 5 office and employs an intern of her own to continue providing opportunities for other young people to learn about public service careers.