Mike Realon is the Career and Community Development Coordinator at Olympic High School in Charlotte, NC and helped lead the transformation of the school resulting in the school becoming ranked in the top 1% nationally for its “Career AND College Readiness” prowess based on career-focused project-based and experiential learning. Clifton Vann is CEO of Hyde Park Partners (HPP), the holding company for Livingston & Haven, MRO Stop, and AEG International (AEG), all leaders in technology, advanced manufacturing, design, and engineering. With Charlotte being ranked 50th of the top 50 largest cities in the United States for economic mobility, meaning the greater majority of youth growing up in poverty will fail to make a living wage, Olympic High School uses its career academies and over 700 industry partnerships – such as with Hyde Park Partners – to change that reality for most, through internships and career-focused learning. Students are graduating from Olympic with a leg up on both gainful employment and education, in many cases becoming the breadwinners for their families given the skills, real-world work opportunities, and competencies they gain through their program. Hear from Mike and Clifton as they each share the importance of this work not only for the individual lives of the youth they work with but for the well-being of their communities as well.
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