News, Scholars in the Workplace, Scholars Program

10th Grade Scholars Learn About Careers at the Zoo

FLOC’s Scholars Program offers students many field trip and events to attend. In 10th grade, students have the opportunity to visit 4 work places in the D.C. area in order to get a better sense of the work place, ask career related questions, and create networking opportunities. This year students have visited FLOC, Kube Architecture, and Omni Hotel & Resort.

At Kube Architecture earlier this fall, Elshadie, John, and Jada learn how architects use computer graphics to create their work.

For the 10th graders’ last visit on December 2nd, they had a rare opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park. Our Scholars met 4 zookeepers who work in Asia Trail, Small Mammals, Bird House, and Amazonia. The keepers shared more information about potential careers options at the Zoo and some of their personal experiences on the job. One keeper has been working at the zoo for 24 years.

Diversity Panel & 10th grade discussion

They also talked about diversity in their workplace. For example, there are now more women and minorities in STEM careers. The zookeepers are also members of their diversity committee and they shared their own personal insights. Our 10th graders were engaged and asked many questions including:

  • What experiences prepared you for your job?
  • What would you say to a high schooler who is interested in a career in science?
  • What internship opportunities are available to us?

10th Scholars exploring the Amphibian Exhibit

After the panel, the students had their own private tour of the Amazonia exhibit and learned more about animal enrichment and conservation. The Zoo was excited to work with our students and encouraged them to come back to visit anytime!

Zoo- 10th grade & Diversity Panel

(Cassie Degener is the College Access Coordinator with the Scholars Program.)

Scholars in the Workplace, Scholars Program

Scholars in the Workplace… a look back.

FLOC’s Scholars in the Workplace program aims to provide our students with critical career exposure to help them identify possible areas of interest, meet successful professionals in a variety of career fields and give them the chance to experience different workplace environments.  This year, high school Scholars visited several workplaces across the city.  These visits first kicked off over spring break, with four enthusiastic 12th grade students being matched with three diverse workplaces in the city.

First, a young professional who works at the American Councils for International Education hosted Taylor at her office for an entire day. Taylor attended a department meeting, helped to prepare materials for an upcoming conference, and learned about possible career paths in the field of international education.

Taylor Kelly_American Council for International Education

Later that week, a medical director at Sibley Memorial Hospital welcomed Kyla and Amen, two aspiring nurses, to shadow her and the nursing team in the Radiation Oncology Department. Throughout the day, Kyla and Amen witnessed patients receiving treatment and learned about the nursing profession from experienced staff. The interest and professionalism both students showed were praised and led them to be welcomed back to volunteer and enhance their resumes.

Amen and Kyla_Sibley

Third, a program coordinator and her colleagues at the World Resources Institute (WRI) hosted CJ for an afternoon to learn about the work of a global environmental research organization. CJ had the opportunity to meet with human resources staff to discuss his interests and improve his resume; he enjoyed the people and the work so much that he plans to apply for a summer internship.

CJ_World Resource Institute

The Scholars in the Workplace visits continued this summer when we matched another five students, all going into the 11th grade this fall, with both new and familiar workplaces.

Nick, who loves science and is interested in environmental issues, kicked off our summer placements at the World Resources Institute, where another project coordinator and her colleagues were eager to host a student at their organization. Like CJ, Nick had numerous meetings with enthusiastic staff to hear about their job responsibilities. Nick particularly enjoyed learning about the variety of careers at WRI and what it is like to work in an office environment.

Nick_World Resources Institute

Our second student to take advantage of a career exposure opportunity this summer was Ghelatia, who wants to one day be a pediatrician and a philosopher. A director at Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), a child advocacy organization, coordinated an exciting day for Ghelatia: she spent the morning on Capitol Hill where she attended a hearing and met with representatives, and she spent the afternoon speaking with CDF staff about issues facing schools. As a result of the visit, Ghelatia found that her passion and principles were aligned with careers in this field.

Ghelatia_Childrens Defense FunGhelatia on the Hill_Childrens Defense Fund

While at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Bigami was able to tour the Executive Directors Board Room and receive college and career advice from research analysts and program directors. Bigami’s time at the IMF allowed him to interview numerous professionals in the international finance profession and further increased his interest in international affairs.

Bigami Beli_ IMF

Bianca and Berniece rounded up our summer with a visit to Sibley Memorial Hospital where they learned to read cat scans, MRI’s, and had an intro course to human anatomy. They toured the Radiation Oncology Department and held informational interviews with numerous doctors and medical professionals. They walked away excited at the opportunity to volunteer in fall and more enthusiastic about becoming doctors.

Bianca Berneice

Before these Scholars go off to pursue higher education, their workplace shadow experiences showed them just what, why, and how a postsecondary degree will help them achieve career success.

(Jessie Garrett was a Scholars program instructor for the 2013-2014 school year.)

News, Scholars in the Workplace, Scholars Program

Scholars in the Workplace – will you host a Scholar this year?

Each year, FLOC’s high school Scholars participate in the Scholars in the Workplace program.  This project aims to provide our students with critical career exposure to help them identify possible areas of interest, meet successful professionals in a variety of career fields and give them the chance to experience different workplace environments.  We’re currently working to round up a list of potential host sites for our students, and we hope you can help us.

Being a host site can include many different things, including taking the student(s) on an office tour or to a meeting with you, having them work on a sample project with you, having a conversation about your educational and career path with them, helping them with their resume and/or reviewing your resume with them.  Students can come for half a day or a full day, depending on your schedule.

Sadiah, Meredith and Dominic at Maga Design.
Sadiah, Meredith and Dominic at Maga Design.

If you or anyone you know (please feel free to share this info broadly if you think you know others who might be interested!  It’s basically the easiest volunteer opportunity ever— you don’t even have to leave your office!) the next step is to fill out our initial interest survey so we can identify whether we have students who are interested in your field.  This is an ongoing program, so we pair students with host sites throughout the school year and summer.  So while we may not get back to you immediately, we will be in touch as soon as we have a student who would be a good fit for your workplace.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our College Access Coordinator Kim Davis ( anytime.

Luis and Marc-BBC2
Marc and Luis at BBC America studios.