Big Picture Learning, with support from Harbor Freight Tools for Schools, is designing a new form of apprenticeship for youths who show significant potential for out-sized accomplishments in new and traditional trades and crafts. These young people are an enormous, often overlooked, talent pool of future trades- and crafts-persons who would flourish in apprenticeships that provide deep and sustained relationships with expert mentors and access to communities of practice focused on their interests and talents. The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative provides these students with customized programs of learning and work that include pathways to post-secondary learning.
During the last school year, Big Picture Learning prototyped -- in schools, career and technical education (CTE) centers, and youth development organizations -- student and mentor selection criteria and procedures, training and support programs for mentors, and learning and work programs that wrap a complete and customized learning experience around each student's trade or craft skills.
Each student has a highly personalized learning program guided by a learning plan developed with help from teachers, mentors and others. The program follows graduates as they enter work, post-secondary learning, communities of practice, and business ventures to understand how these new forms of apprenticeships contribute to personal and professional fulfilment while making contributions to our society and economy.