Title

Bright Future Program - Shaping the Workforce of Tomorrow Today

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Is the American Dream Dead? Historian James Truslow Adams popularized the phrase “American Dream” in his 1931 book Epic of America. According to Adams’ definition, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. “The U.S. worked hard to create the American dream of opportunity. But today, that dream is a myth,” says economist Joseph Stieglitz.

For a Bright Future program graduate, the dream is very alive. During the last 15 years, especially since the “Great Recession,” Bright Future graduates have been experiencing much different realities. Bright Future graduates, by entering the program, already saved more than one year and thousands of dollars in tuition and fees even before graduating high school. With a high school diploma, an industry certificate, a mountain of skills, knowledge, and confidence, and no debt, our graduates are successful whether they continue their education or work.

Brief Program Description

High schools in America are in crisis due to two fundamental problems; lack of practical options for students who are not on a four year college track and students coming to schools on unequal footing economically, academically, and socially.

The Bright Future Program is a practical response to both of these issues. By allowing access to advanced workforce education programs at community colleges, Bright Future program makes education meaningful to students. Through Bright Future Program, high school seniors and juniors may enter one of advanced professional and technical programs at Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) and Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). Students are dually enrolled and earn credits towards their high school diploma while obtaining the workforce education and skills necessary for a professional certificate.

Bright Future’s academic and career advising and comprehensive case management component helps students and parents navigate the ever complicated high school and community college systems successfully. Since 1999 -2000 school year, Bright Future staff have worked with over four hundred high school students from forty area high schools in 9 school districts.

Summary

Bright Future educational model is sustainable and scalable. This model can be duplicated in any state with "Dual Enrollment" law in place. This program creates an industry specific pipeline that allows high school student enter the career of their choice at the local community colleges for free, while still in high school. Academic and Career advising of the program, creates an individual education plan for each student, then helps students and parents to reach their goal. Bright Future Dollars for Scholars, a local partner, has awarded more than $160,000 TO our students.

Evidence

Program success is evident in our high school graduation rate of 91 over the last four years. Additionally, 71% of these graduates also completed their certificate program and are working in industries such as healthcare, construction, high tech, accounting, and law firms across the City of Seattle. Other Bright Future graduates are enrolled in medical, nursing and dental hygiene programs. From 2002 to 2012 right Future graduates earned more that five thousands college credits at the three campuses in the Seattle Community College District. This number is amazing when one considers that 58% of the students that Bright Future program serves are considered “at risk”.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Reza Khastou

Founder and Director of Bright Future Program

Seattle Vocational Institute

Reza Khastou has been working with high school students for more than 30 years - the majority of it here in Seattle. Reza was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, graduating from Tehran University with a degree in Political Science. He came to the US in 1978 to continue his education. He earned his master’s degree in education from Eastern Washington University.

Reza and his wife Marlee have been living in North Seattle for more than 30 years. Reza has two daughters who graduated from Roosevelt and Nathan Hale High Schools. His older daughter Leyla was one of the Roosevelt Basketball players who was featured in the “Heart of the Game” movie. Leyla is a Nurse Practitioner at Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. Mina, his younger daughter, is in school to obtain her elementary teaching certificate.

Reza is currently an advisor to the Board of Bright Future Dollars for Scholars and a board member of 501 Commons.

Keyword Descriptors

Bright Future

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

Bright Future Program - Shaping the Workforce of Tomorrow Today

Harborside Center

High schools in America are in crisis due to two fundamental problems; lack of practical options for students who are not on a four year college track and students coming to schools on unequal footing economically, academically, and socially.

The Bright Future Program is a practical response to both of these issues. By allowing access to advanced workforce education programs at community colleges, Bright Future program makes education meaningful to students. Through Bright Future Program, high school seniors and juniors may enter one of advanced professional and technical programs at Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) and Seattle Central Community College (SCCC). Students are dually enrolled and earn credits towards their high school diploma while obtaining the workforce education and skills necessary for a professional certificate.

Bright Future’s academic and career advising and comprehensive case management component helps students and parents navigate the ever complicated high school and community college systems successfully. Since 1999 -2000 school year, Bright Future staff have worked with over four hundred high school students from forty area high schools in 9 school districts.