Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — NEWFANE — Students climbed into a large, green RV that read “Roadtrip Nation” at Newfane High School on Tuesday. They didn’t leave school grounds, but the aim of the event was to inspire them to explore new career paths based on their own interests.
The event included video testimonials, interactive activities and a speech by Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour to motivate students to find out what they want to do after graduation.
Roadtrip Nation is an organization dedicated to helping students explore potential careers. The organization has a TV show on PBS that follows groups of young people who travel the country in green RVs and interview people whose lives inspire them.
As an offshoot of the organization, Roadtrip Nation Education gives students access to the vast interview archives and visits from the traveling “Roadie” teams of speakers who make trips to schools across the country. The education program is sponsored by AT&T, which donated $1 million to Roadtrip Nation earlier this year to extend the program to 10,000 more students, including those in Newfane.
Students in grades 7 through 11 who participated in Tuesday’s event are enrolled in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a college readiness program. Principal Thomas Stack says Newfane is the only school district in Niagara County that offers the program, which is aimed at certain students to help them achieve their college goals.
“It’s about 20 to 25 students per grade level, kids who have the potential and are meeting a set of criteria,” Stack said, “(and) also some kids who are the first to really have the chance to go to college from their families.”
Roadtrip Nation partners with AVID programs across the country. Members of the “Roadie” crews are former AVID students themselves, according to Stack, and having Roadtrip Nation bring its traveling road show to Newfane helps reinforce what students learn in class.