Real World Connections

Real World Connections is a program that shows students what careers in the “real world” are like by putting professionals of all types into the classroom or bringing students into the professional workplace. The program offers a wide variety of opportunities for you to interact with students, including:

    • Classroom Presentations allow professionals to bridge the gap between the classroom and the workplace by sharing their expertise and helping students understand the connection between what they are studying and the real world of work. The Chamber recruits volunteers and maintains a database of community volunteers willing to make presentations in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools. To become involved, the volunteer must complete a Real World Connections Presenter Form. Teachers review the list of available speakers, decide which topics fit their curriculum, then contact the volunteer to arrange for a presentation on a given topic. When planning the presentation with the teacher, any special needs should be addressed, such as audio-visual equipment, assistance with the presentation, etc.
      Click here to access our searchable database of Classroom Presenters.
    • Field Trips to businesses allow student groups to visit the workplace. Groups would be made up of 20 to 25 students and a teacher chaperone. A typical visit lasts between 1 to 3 hours and includes a facility tour, presentation about the company, and an opportunity for students to ask questions.
    • Job Shadowing is a career exploration activity that offers a student the opportunity to spend time with a professional (from a few hours up to 3 days) currently working in that student’s career field of interest. Students follow the employee to learn about all aspects of the position including education, training requirements and career opportunities within the company.

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  • Internships offer students a great way to begin an in-depth exploration of career options. Internships are beneficial to the employer as well, as student interns can provide meaningful contributions to the business. Some positions are paid, others are non-paid and the duration is typically 100 hours. Students participating in career specific partnerships can often earn academic credit for their internship. Usually a faculty sponsor will work alongside a site supervisor to evaluate the student’s overall progress over the course of the internship.
  • Mentoring is a rewarding option for adult volunteers who are willing to invest time in forming a supportive relationship with one or more students. Well-informed mentors are also needed to share their expertise with teams or groups of students participating in various school programs involving math, science, robotics and more. The mentor’s time commitment ranges from one hour per month to one hour per week, depending on their availability and the specific program needs.
  • Surplus Donations of new and used supplies, materials, and technology for classroom activities (such as old professional journals or other materials students could use to learn more about your business) are another way of participating in Real World Connections. The schools also welcome donations of gently used office furniture.
  • Financial Support of local schools goes to support established goals. This support can range from $25 to thousands of dollars and help to maintain afterschool programs and activities, school uniforms for needy students, student recognition and incentives, field trip expenses, technology upgrades, and school beautification, among other things.

For more information on how you can participate in any aspect of the Real World Connections program, contact Rodessa Mitchell at (336) 728-9222.