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How Navigo is changing the future of Bellevue High School students

by Jennifer Sierra

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Navigo is a program devoted to coaching high school students, regardless of income, on how to discover their natural talents and interests to create a career path after high school and college. The CEO of Navigo, Tim Hanner, Todd Dykes from WLWT and  Jim Cutter from Cutter Construction, Jeremy Deters and Ken Weidinger are the board members for Navigo.”We have just finished out first year at Bellevue, Williamstown and Erlanger Lloyd high schools. We have just finished our second year at Ludlow. We want students to find their passions and talents and to help them figure out what that means in life. We sit down with them and try to figure out what deficits they have as they try to fulfill their goals.” Hanner said.

Navigo has several approaches to meet the needs of local teens. Their in-house services include private college and career coaching programs that tutor kids for the ACT as well as help a student determine their college and/or career path using diagnostic tools and financial planning strategies.

Navigo Coaches go to the schools and meet with small groups of students every other week for about an hour. Sometimes local business leaders connect with students through the Navigo program to discuss workforce needs which might help inspire a student to go into a specific career path they otherwise hadn’t known or thought about. Job shadowing, internships, schaolarships and part-time employment may also be provided, giving high school students another employment option other than working at a local fast-food restaurant and allowing them to start a promising career path sooner.

Trained Navigo coaches empower students to figure out who the they are and what opportunities are available for them. The goal by the end of the 1st semester in their senior year, students have viable options. “Viable meaning academically they can handle what comes next, financially they have a plan to pay for what comes next, emotionally they can handle going away or staying home, or whatever it is they want to do in life, whether it is going into the military, 2 year or 4 year college and career preparedness,” Tim Hanner added.

Starting this year a new Navigo program was created called Navigo Select. A school district and business are paired together. Students have to apply and be selected into this tier of the program. They are working with companies like Toyota, Pomeroy and Duke Energy, to name a few, to see what workforce needs for those industries are with the goal of preparing students for the opportunity to fill those positions. “For example, Bellevue students are involved with Toyota and their engineering program. 2 of those students are going into the engineering program at UC. 1 is going to NKU in music. Now they are better equipped because Toyota is interested in them,” Tanner stated. Because of the success in Bellevue this year, a large number of Bellevue students have been chosen as Navigo scholars this coming year.

Navigo coaches offer real-world experience and advice when meeting with students and their families. They help connect them with resources that will enable the students to get the help they need to find and start their career.

Bellevue Independent Schools Superintendent Robb Smith said, “I want our kids to look back on us (Navigo coaches and Bellevue teachers) and say that person really helped me determine what I wanted to do with my life. It is a great opportunity for our kids. They are rubbing elbows with engineers at Toyota and Duke and it is very exciting.”

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