Special to The Dallas Examiner
As an industry partner with the Dallas ISD P-TECH initiative since 2016, Accenture Dallas has provided Seagoville High School P-TECH students with real world opportunities such as mentoring, resume writing sessions, mock interviews and back-to-school readiness kits.
In 2018, Accenture Dallas offered one P-TECH student and seven other district high school students a valuable summer internship. Deanna Naugles, the local market lead for Accenture Dallas who leads the company’s corporate citizenship engagement in the DFW community, was so impressed by the interns that she helped grow the program to this summer’s total of 28 Dallas ISD P-TECH interns.
“My absolute favorite thing about working with high school students is one-on-one connections,” Naugles said. “They aspire to do great things, they are eager to learn, they have grit, and they want more for their lives than society has labeled for them. I am humbled to stand in the gap to further position them for success.”
Before the threat of COVID-19, Accenture’s traditional summer internships were on projects, including marketing, technology support and consulting. After the pandemic hit earlier this year, Accenture quickly pivoted to a “Virtual Learning Experience,” connecting with students from across the country participating in the program.
Students participating in Accenture’s six-week VLE were paired in teams of six to eight students from across the country and attended weekly workshops covering technology solutions, research, data analytics, design thinking, problem solving, personal branding, finances and storytelling.
“In Dallas, talent is a critical current and future concern for our business community success. We are addressing the problem by preparing Generation Z P-TECH high school students from diverse and underserved communities with career and college skills and on-the-job experience,” Naugles said. “The P-TECH experience will positively impact their career and college planning to pursue jobs and careers with livable wages in the DFW metroplex.”
Dallas ISD Assistant Superintendent Usamah Rodgers, who leads the district’s P-TECH initiative, said industry partners such as Accenture Dallas are providing an invaluable service to students.
“The success of the P-TECH program is based upon combination of exposure, experience and a network of professional mentors which help our students gain the confidence and skills necessary to successfully navigate the 21st-century job marketplace,” Rodgers said.
Cheryl Nevels, executive director of P-TECH and ECHS Programs, also highlighted the importance of industry partners.
“Internship opportunities provided by P-TECH Industry Partners such as Accenture are instrumental in preparing P-TECH students for future careers in high demand and high wage occupations,” Nevels said.