Olympic High was awarded one of seven inaugural Resilient Districts Prizes from Future of School, a K-12 public charity organization. Olympic is one of seven recipients from across the U.S. to receive the prize, which rewards innovative practices in blended and online learning that have made a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olympic received $10,000 at a presentation at the school Dec. 15. The prize celebrated teacher Michael Realon and the school for successfully implementing its Prosperity by Design program, which aims to empower Gen Z youth, so they have more tools at their disposal than previous generations for planning and pursuing lives that intentionally lead to happiness and prosperity.
"Olympic's program really took their learning to the next level by connecting students to platforms and technology that amplify their interest in their careers," said Dr. Melanie Hicks, director of education research for Future of School. "Their program moves the message that education can be exciting, forward-thinking, innovative, and it can be something they want to go into and not something they have to do as students."
The Prosperity by Design program also simultaneously populates the local talent pool desperately needed by Charlotte employers who are unable to fill 100,000 local jobs. This is due to the ever-expanding knowledge and skills gap in the U.S. (and 8.5 million unfilled jobs nationwide, an historical high).
"We are so excited that Olympic has been chosen for this award," said Olympic Principal Casey Jones. "The pandemic has forced educators to rethink how we support learning in all modalities and how we prepare students for our ever-changing world. This grant will be used to continue the work of career exploration and education as we prepare our students for the 21st-century workforce."