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Summer Flywheel: Make America Driven Again

Use your time off to catalyze career development.

Photo of George Payne
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When the program is fully developed, students of the program will be able to leverage their time, experience, and portfolio towards optional college credit. When they begin, students are interviewed for their future life goals and they develop a "futurefolio" that will allow them to work backwards into the kinds of skills that they may need to feel accomplished at certain intervals in their life (5, 10, 20 years). Daily classes involve local tours of schools and companies, as well as urban and enrichment centers like museums and parks, where local challenges are then turned into business and "movement" opportunities. Student groups are paired with a series of mentors and their ideas are concretized into fully fledged projects that they can showcase in their yearly portfolios.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Young people and high school students who have a summer(s) of opportunity will be offered a chance to go to summer school, where they can learn experientially and opt-in to credit for building aspects of their life-long portfolio.

This idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO outpost or chapter

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Pilot in one high school, where the summer after sophmore year, a single class is guided through a summer-long experiential journey. Students are grouped initially based on what kinds of majors and careers they would like to have, but then with branching learning pathways, students begin to develop a skill-based portfolio. Classes are run online and in person and job coached, counselors, and hiring managers get kids connected to companies and schools based on their interests.

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Photo of Khuyen Bui Gia

I <3 the idea and tagline! My gap year before college definitely gave me a lot of perspective. Nothing beats a summer of meaningful experiences, documented into good stories!