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Rio Tinto aids student career prospects

Money to support existing and new initiatives
School District 91 schools superintendent Eugene Marks accepting a cheque from Rio Tinto’s Lianne Olson. The $90,000 cheque will support district’s career-focused initiatives over the next three years. (School District 91 photo)

A first-ever grant from Rio Tinto will be used to support and expand School District 91’s efforts to provide career-focused programs and events for its students.

Students here and elsewhere in the district already have access to programs to spark student interest in careers and now the $90,000 from Rio Tinto, to be spread out over the next three years, will help it broaden that programming, says school district assistant superintendent Manuu Madhok.

“School District 91 has an extensive history of offering a variety of career projects over the last 15-plus years,” he said.

That list includes exposure to heavy duty mechanics, health, forest management, agriculture, general trades, firefighting and local government.

“Each of our high schools has a career counsellor that helps to create authentic learning opportunities within each of our communities,” Madhok added.

“British Columbia’s new careers curriculum spans Kindergarten to Grade 12 and so our careers department attempts to create and support careers initiatives across all these grades,” he said.

He said the district has been fortunate to have solid support from local businesses within the district to support its programs.

“It should be noted that we have partners in every one of our communities and continue to be very thankful for the opportunities that are created for our students,” Madhok continued.

One specific event organized by the school district, an entrepreneurship conference called I-Cubed which was held for the first time last fall, furthers the school district’s efforts.

“”The focus of this conference was to expose students to entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. It was very well received by our schools and by the local community and we are currently preparing for the second I-Cubed conference for the fall of 2018,” said Madhok.

Partnership support such as that provided by Rio Tinto is further leveraged by the district’s careers department, he said.