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Northeast High School students get leg up through 3DE program unique to school

Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-18 16:42:27-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wednesday, March 13, was presentation day for some high schoolers at Northeast High School in the Kansas City Public Schools district.

“Your spiel is walking them through your idea, your box tops, your vision boards," Dr. Stephanie Reynolds, director of school leadership of Junior Achievement 3DE at the school, said.

The presentation day was a chance for some 10th grade 3DE students to present their projects with their business partner, VML.

Lyrik Hearn, a sophomore at the school, worked hard for this moment.

“I think it sets us apart cause mainly we are seen as underdogs with being where we are, where we live," Hearn said.

Reynolds said there was nerves in the air from students, but knew students would thrive during their presentations.

"I think they are a little nervous; there’s so many people here," Reynolds said. “They have worked on this project for six weeks. This is a really long project for them to get to, but they’ve worked hard during class; they talked to the business coaches for ideas, and now they get to present those ideas."

Myron King, chief integration officer for VML, worked with the students through the process.

“We’re one of the largest advertising firms in Kansas City, and we’re based right here in Kansas City," King said.

Despite the nerves, these 3DE students presented their advertising ideas, using skills they’ve learned.

They were able to do this through a program only offered at Northeast High School.

It's the only 3DE school in Missouri.

The students were asked to create a vision board centered around Box Tops for Education.

They will participate in a gallery walk where they will present to various students and adults about what their vision is for the campaign.

“The critical analytical thinking, the self-direction — all of these things will help them be a great adult," Reynolds said.

Robert Vasquez, a sophomore at the school, said he's already noticing the impact being a part of the program is having on him.

“This has changed me in a lot of ways, including my public talking skills," Vasquez said. "Beforehand, every time I’d try to talk to somebody, there would be this fear of me saying the wrong thing or me not saying the word properly. I’d be scared to talk in front of a group of people, even just one person, but now I can talk to a lot of people.

Hearn said she's also gained lots of skills she might not have if not for the 3DE program.

"I’ve gained a lot of people skills, I’ve talked to a lot of businesses, I’ve gotten job referrals," Hearn said.

Reynolds said they're gaining valuable life skills at a much younger age.

“The greatest thing about this program is, they are getting to do things that most of us didn’t get to do until when we were in college," Reynolds said.

KCPS says this program significantly increases sophomore graduation rates, adding many more students now on track to graduate.

"This could have been any school, but they chose us to have 3DE," Hearn said.