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Down to business: High school students get a lesson about the working world

Posted: November 12, 2009 10:08 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Don Earle questions high school students in a financial literacy seminar at the Connecting to Success program held at Grace Baptist Church on Thursday.

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More than 800 Santa Clarita Valley high school juniors set aside books and research papers Thursday to learn about financial literacy, business ethics and applying for jobs as part of the annual Connecting to Success program.

The Valley Industrial Association-sponsored program, which is in its seventh year, connects the emerging workforce with leading members of the local business community for a day of interactive activities and workshops.

"They are going to enter our world," said Sue Reynolds, a senior partner with New Market Careers and one of more than 40 facilitators at Thursday's event. "And the parents and teachers don't have the horsepower we have in communicating what that world is going to be."

Thursday's program at Grace Baptist Church brought juniors from West Ranch, Golden Valley, Bowman, Saugus high schools and Sequoia Charter School, said Kathy Norris, president and CEO of VIA.

This year's program is expected to serve more than 2,000 students from all of the local high schools, she said.

Connecting to Success teaches Hart district students concepts straight from business leaders.

"It gives kids the perspective of what businesses are looking for," said Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

"They don't always get the direct connection between the business world and what they're learning in the classroom."

Reynolds, who has participated in the program for four years, enjoys watching the students grow.

"They walk in as a bunch of high school students," Reynolds said. "They walk out like young business people."

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