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Our Mission

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. 
The Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative provides deep and sustaining relationships with expert mentors and access to communities of practice in their area of passion. Their personal and professional success will be a significant contribution to our society. The initiative is available to youth currently enrolled in high school, community colleges, or who are not in school but could benefit from a bridging opportunity to the professional world.
Two levels of Fellowship are available:  "Fellowships" and "Junior Fellowships".  Fellowships are for older students for whom a trade is already their chosen career path.  Junior Fellowships are for younger students who have a passion for working  with their hands and want to learn more about the trades.
For additional details about this initiative, or if you would would like your school or organization to participate, please contact Charlie Plant, Program Director at (401) 741-8954 or
Further information is available by completing a Contact Us or Application form on this website.
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.