West Broadway Middle School student Angelica Pablo, left, works on a robot project with Providence Career and Technical Academy pre-engineering students Hyber Gamboa and Emmanuel Recillas.

RI’s career and technology students mentor West Broadway middle school students

PROVIDENCE – In Miss Roberta’s class, the eighth grade pupils are hunched over robots the size of Rubik’s cubes. Sitting next to them are their teachers, pre-engineering students from the Providence Career and Technical Academy.

In a first-ever pilot in Providence, career and technology students are paid $ 15 an hour to serve as mentors in West Broadway Middle School. The mission is twofold: to introduce middle school students to the magic of technology and to help alleviate nervousness as they transition to high school.

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“Internships serve to bridge the gap between middle and high school,” said Hope Fernandez, whose organization, Community Action Partnership of Providence, pays students’ salaries. “It gives PCTA kids an adult mindset. Middle school kids see the connection between middle school and high school ”.

Both sides benefit from the partnership.

PCTA students must register 80 to 100 hours on a workplace internship where they not only deepen their skills, but learn soft skills such as punctuality, communication, and show initiative.

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