Pine River-Backus graduates were honored on May 22, with the Bridges Career Academy Achievement Award. The following students, Cody Mager, Randall Osier, Kelsey Schwartz, Morgan Demars, Drey Loge, Lacey Schermann, were the first to earn a Certificate of Completion in the Bridges Career Academy and Workplace Connections Program. The Bridges program was developed in partnership with the Pine River-Backus High School administrators, counselors, and faculty, the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber, Central Lakes College and local business and industry partners. The Bridges program targets the “Academic Middle” by ensuring students develop 21st century work skills as they explore the high wage, high skill and high demand jobs of the future.
By combining the high school’s curriculum and the faculty’s expertise, students explore careers with hands-on learning and real-life business and industry experiences. As the students in grades 9-12 study a variety of careers in personal interest area, they experience tours, job shadows, and industry speakers. Academy course work focuses on developing the technical skills in teamwork, critical thinking and time management, and the skills future employers expect from their employees. Students are provided information on the variety of jobs within each Career Academy and the career’s job outlook for Central Minnesota. With a high school foundation laid, graduating students may choose to enroll in college, or enter the workforce with the Academy skills they have obtained.