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Wayne High School students present career capstones

May 10, 2024

Wayne High School students, Appalachian Power representatives, Education Alliance representatives, and Wayne County Schools representatives, including Superintendent Todd Alexander

CHARLESTON, W.Va., May 10, 2024 – Today, leaders from Appalachian Power and the Education Alliance observed the capstone presentations of students at Wayne High School in Wayne County. For their senior English class capstone projects, students learned about various careers in the energy sector and shared their reports with company leaders during today’s presentations. The capstone projects allowed students to showcase their new knowledge of careers as well as professional skills like communication, teamwork, professionalism, and work ethic that they cultivated during their work-based learning course.

At the beginning of the semester, employees from Appalachian Power collaborated with Wayne teachers to assign the capstone challenge and provide weekly mentoring and support for the students as part of the Education Alliance’s Virtual Work-based Learning program.

“The Appalachian Power team recognizes the importance of high-quality education and building West Virginia's workforce; our partnership with the Education Alliance enables us to do just that,” said Aaron Walker, Appalachian Power's president & COO and an Education Alliance Board Member. “Our goal this semester was to help Wayne High School students understand our industry's many needs and what it takes to be successful; after seeing their capstone presentation this morning, I'm proud to say we achieved that.”

The Education Alliance launched the Virtual Work-based Learning Program in 2019. The school-based, semester-long program is for high school students, and it provides virtual job shadowing and training at 11 different businesses across West Virginia. The Alliance also matches participating schools like Wayne High School with a business mentor to address a capstone challenge that enables students to cultivate employability skills. To expand the program’s success, the American Electric Power Foundation provided a $250,000, five-year grant to support the Education Alliance’s expansion of quality work-based learning experiences to equip West Virginia students with the knowledge and skill sets needed for success after high school.

“We are grateful to the Appalachian Power team and Wayne High School for partnering to provide career development and mentoring for students in this innovative program,” said Dr. Amelia Courts, president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance. “By providing capstone projects and support during the school day, students learn to apply their knowledge they learn in class in real-world environments. I want to thank the American Electric Power Foundation for their generous financial support that has enabled students around the state to participate in real-world learning and become ‘WV Ready Graduates’.”

The initiative is made possible through funding from the American Electric Power Foundation, Dominion Energy, Enterprise, Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV, and WV GEAR UP. The program is anticipated to be expanded in the coming years to serve more of the state’s soon-to-be graduates, with the eventual goal being to expand statewide. To learn more about the program, visit https://educationalliance.org/wblcourse/.

About the AEP Foundation
The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) and its operating subsidiaries, including Appalachian Power. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The AEP foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, promote healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

About The Education Alliance
The Education Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for a quality public education for all students. Established in 1983, the Alliance works to advance its mission by mobilizing business and community partnerships that equip West Virginia’s students for success. For more information, visit educationalliance.org. 

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