PITTSBURGH, Feb. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An innovative program that puts middle and high school students in personal contact with top Pittsburgh business, community and governmental leaders is available statewide for the first time in a partnership with the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.
The "U Can B" program was originated and is operated by Building Bridges for Business, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit launched in 2010. The organization aims at empowering and educating 7th through 12th graders using experts, its "Coffee With" film series on CBS/KDKA, in-person lectures, and "Power Trip" meetings with individuals in leadership positions.
"The U Can B program has been made available to school districts in and around Pittsburgh, but this is the first time they've offered it through an online school, and the first time for it to be available statewide," said Mike Hissam, director of PA Cyber's gifted and talented program.
Participating PA Cyber students have been recruited to participate through the school's regional offices, and from the gifted-talented and related STAR programs, DECA business club, School of Engineering, and National Honor Society chapter.
Each Thursday from 3 to 4 p.m. over a 15-week period that began Jan. 15, participants gather at seven PA Cyber support centers and satellite offices across the state for live, interactive online sessions on specific topics including entrepreneurship, website and graphic design, government and politics, jobs in the "green" sector, film, and trade careers.
In addition to the weekly class topics, students learn from two in-person lectures, and may attend a "Power Trip" meeting. Power Trips may include visits to Google offices, the Energy Innovation Center, CBS/KDKA studios and Pittsburgh City Hall.
The live online sessions in this series originate from PA Cyber's office in Pittsburgh's East Liberty business district. They are streamed using Google software to offices at Greensburg, Erie, Wexford, Allentown, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg.
The sessions also are streamed to PA Cyber students participating at home on their laptops, using the same Collaborate meeting software students use to attend their regular PA Cyber virtual classes.
In the second session, for example, Tom Kubilius of Bally Designs of Pittsburgh explained what entrepreneurship is, what entrepreneurs have in common, choices to be made in starting a business, creating a business plan, what a small business looks like, and why having a passion for what you do is important.
Hissam said participation in the program will remain open through the semester to new participation by all PA Cyber students in grades 9-12, and to grade 7-8 students taking high school classes.
PA Cyber is Pennsylvania's first, largest and most successful online public school, providing a quality, state-approved education for 10,000 schoolchildren in grades K-12.
Contact Jill Valentine, 724.624.0473
SOURCE PA Cyber Charter School