To better equip YME in it’s mission to provide vocationally engaging work-study programs for young kids, Jacob wanted to hear more about the state of education from a vocational perspective.
“While academic learning is invaluable in the educational process,” Schellenberg said, “YME is interested in how young hearts will be influenced to one day become an active part of the community and industry. Most high school Juniors and Seniors don’t know where they are going to college, let alone what they are even interested in pursuing. At the YME Foundation, we want to influence and change that reality for Oklahoma students by inspiring them through innovative learning.”
Dr. Tiger presented evidence that painted a picture for the future of Oklahoma, one that will be supported mostly by trained, skilled workers — not by higher education graduates. “Many who are only academically trained will find themselves looking for a job,” said Dr. Tiger. “Everything is driven by technology — you need to be trained. The skills gap has become a big issue.”
YME finds an interesting likeness in mission with TulsaTech’s career technology mindset. “Our core proposition that we bring to the table, however, is helping students at the younger ages of 5, 6 and 7 begin to find an interest they will likely pursue over a lifetime,” said Jacob. “Academic learning is invaluable, but let’s get them off their seat and on their feet. Let them experience and feel what it is like to run a greenhouse, from fertilizing, planting and maintaining the plants, to managing the accounts payable and receivable.”
YME believes that if teachers build a record of what a student enjoys from a young age, teachers can lead them to the career focus they are truly interested and gifted in.
Schellenberg seeks to partner with TulsaTech as the YME Foundation assists young high school students who decide to pursue career technology classes at TulsaTech.
The result of the keynote with Dr. Tiger was stimulating and has led to further networking conversation with TulsaTech’s Robert Franklin, Associate Superintendent of Student Affairs. Robert initiates a lot of external partnerships for TulsaTech and has agreed to look at the YME Foundation and further work with us in the future. He gave Jacob the names of three other local partners with which to connect. YME will connect with TulsaTech again in the near future and update you on our progress.