Mentors guide Wolfson High School students

Program provides students with chance to learn about career opportunities

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Students at Wolfson High School are traveling "beyond the school walls" to participate in a program that teaches them about career opportunities.

Hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters, the students will spend the year taking a monthly class at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront downtown.

The students will be matched with a mentor to learn skills in a work environment.

"I think it's kind of fun," sophomore Janay said. "I've been looking forward to this since we heard about it. I'm ready."

Janay said she's eager to build a relationship with a role model, a manager at the Hyatt who is thrilled to offer guidance.

"It's really exciting. Actually, I'm very excited," Janay's mentor, Aisha Alami, said. "We already kind of hit it off, so I'm really excited to kind of get to know her even more."

The program Beyond School Walls is designed to help students with long-term goals. Each month, students will meet with their mentor at their workplace.

"This gives them an opportunity to actually see business at work before they graduate high school, and hopefully it will inspire them to go on to post-secondary success, junior college, college or into the workforce," said Warren Grymes, of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida.

Beyond the walls of the hotel, the school district is hoping to expand programs like this to teach students about career opportunities.

"We have to bring schools back to a place of common sense, where we are teaching critical thinking skills, but we're also allowing for real world experiences," Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said. "And I think this partnership at Big Brothers, Big Sisters here at the Hyatt will give students an opportunity to actually see what they're learning."

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