A cooperative between Fairplex and the Pomona Unified School District will draw hundreds of student interns to Fairplex for a new learning experience, offering practical knowledge and professional mentoring. /b.js>
Fairplex Academy welcomed its first students from Village Academy High School in January after many months of planning. Through the efforts of PUSD Superintendent Patrick Leier and Jim Henwood, president and CEO of Fairplex, the venture makes it possible for students to move beyond the traditional classroom to explore opportunities that include the dream of professional certification or a college degree.
High school juniors and seniors enrolled in the San Antonio Regional Occupational Program are eligible for Fairplex Academy. Students choose one of four career pathways – business & marketing, health services, human services, and science & technology – then choose a spot at Fairplex to begin their hands-on training. Fairplex is offering internships at the Child Development Center, Cornucopia Foods, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Sheraton Suites Fairplex covering the ROP areas of hospitality, retail, business and child care.
The union between PUSD and Fairplex is a great one indeed, said Henwood.
“Providing educational opportunities at every level is inherent of the Fairplex
philosophy,” said Henwood. “Joining with our community partner, Pomona Unified, to offer
students another path in their education falls in line with our goal of making Fairplex a learning environment not just at Fair time, but all year long.”
Jil Stark, chairwoman of Fairplex’s Education Foundation Board, concurred with Henwood.
“The board’s goal is to offer year-round learning opportunities for the entire community. It’s wonderful to see that coming together with Fairplex Academy,” Stark said. “We’ve used the line ‘a day of learning cleverly disguised as fun’ for visits to the L.A. County Fair. We’d like to be able to use that for any visit to Fairplex.”
The chance to work with Fairplex was just too good to pass up for the Pomona district. Leier said the learning-by-doing approach Fairplex Academy offers is just one more approach to education that will benefit students.
“Research has indicated that students – all of us – learn in various ways,” Leier said. “The traditional approaches often fall short for many students.”
In the future, Fairplex Academy will expand to include adult education classes and utilize Fairplex staff to teach or offer special seminars.