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District and Chamber Partner to Create Real-World Career Experiences for Middle School Students

June 23, 2022

Middle school students taking restaurant ordersThis summer, Lakeville Area Schools Targeted Services and the Lakeville Chamber of Commerce are working together to create real-world career exposure opportunities for Lakeville area middle school students through a program they’ve named FutureU. Middle school students in summer school and The DEN, a middle school summer enrichment program, will have the chance to participate in FutureU.

The main goals of FutureU are to expose students to the various careers on the Minnesota Department of Education Career Wheel, connect students with the Lakeville area community, provide students a connection between school and their future careers and give students something to look forward to during the summer months. 

Middle school student checking in guest at restaurant host stand

FutureU will include career-related activities, events, guest speakers and even tours of local businesses. During each session, students will learn about different careers by doing an engaging activity and connecting with industry experts. Incoming 6th and 7th grade students will generally stay at Century Middle School while participating in these sessions, while 8th grade students will go off campus to tour local businesses.

The first FutureU session was held on Thursday, June 16 with a focus on business, management and administration. 8th grade students learned how to run a restaurant at Lakeville’s B-52 Burgers and Brew. Students were assigned different restaurant employee roles, such as host/hostess, server, food runner and line cook. Lakeville Area Schools Board of Education members, Lakeville Chamber of Commerce members, summer school staff and other community members served as the students’ patrons. The 8th grade students had a blast learning about the different positions and practicing real-world skills.    

Guest speaker talking about future careers to middle school students

6th and 7th grade students learned about hospitality, finance, banking and marketing from guest speakers who work at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club, Frandsen Bank and Trust and Advanced Wireless Communications. They also participated in an activity called Mad Libs Business Style where they had to develop the target market, advertising and pricing for a new business product or service. 

Upcoming FutureU sessions will include visits to Airlake Airport, McDonald Eye Care, Dakota County Technical College and other local organizations, as well as Wings Financial reality fair and guest speakers from the Lakeville City Council, school resource officers, attorneys and more.