CREATE Foundation and 72 Northeast Mississippi middle schools - Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo

Partners: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Wellspring Education Enhancement Fund Advisory Committee, Community Development Foundation, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, Appalachian Regional Commission and approximately 60 additional companies, organizations, and individual sponsors

Students impacted: 7,000
Volunteers: 450
Partnership duration: 2 years

Launched in 2015, the Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo has grown into a three-day, highly collaborative and engaging event that serves approximately 7,000 eighth graders from 72 schools in all 17 counties of the CREATE Foundation service region. The expo, which is hosted in the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center in Tupelo, is a major component of the “Linking Education to Careers” initiative by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund to enhance educational opportunities for public school K-12 students in counties surrounding Toyota's manufacturing plant. Expo business participation grew from 124 companies the first year to 137 in 2016, with pledges steadily arriving from additional participants for the 2017 expo. 

Activities:

  • Interactive career pathway exhibits
  • Air Force jet-pilot training simulation
  • Built and propelled air-powered rockets
  • Computer assembly and troubleshooting
  • Mock presidential election

 Impacts

  • Student exit survey: 98% satisfaction rate
  • Increased career awareness and readiness
  • Attendance and community involvement steadily growing