Duval County Public Schools and VyStar Credit Union formally opened the doors of a new branch inside Jean Ribault High School. The branch is run by students in the Academy of Finance at Ribault.
Twelve deserving students were selected among a pool of 150 applicants to work at the in-school VyStar Credit Union. These 12 students are actual VyStar employees, who were hand-picked based on VyStar and Duval County Public Schools' explicit criteria. The students also spend most of their Saturday mornings working in local branches and earning a weekly paycheck.
Many administrators were present at the ceremony including Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals; the Honorable Paula D. Wright; the Honorable Betty Burney; the Honorable Martha Barrett; Jackie Byrd, Chief of Schools; Principal Edward Robinson; Terry West, President and CEO of VyStar; and Ted Hewitt, Chairman of the Board for VyStar. Also present were representatives from Governor Rick Scott's office, Senator Bill Nelson's office, and countless local partners of VyStar and Duval County Public Schools.
The Honorable Paula D. Wright and Superintendent Pratt-Dannals both expressed their deepest appreciation to VyStar for providing such an opportunity to change students' lives and motivate them to build their futures.
"As a School Board we work to support policies that enable school and community partnerships that make sense," said the Honorable Paula D. Wright. "It is so great to see the students, teachers, administrators, community and businesses working together for the common goal of educating our future workforce."
Alfred Aviles, a former VyStar employee and the current finance and accounting teacher at Ribault, spoke about how proud he is of these selected students and his hopes for them in the future. Terry West, President and CEO of VyStar, thanked Duval County Public Schools for providing the opportunity to create such a partnership to benefit these students.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony gave the 12 students a chance to be recognized for their hard work thus far and encourage them to learn from this unique opportunity.
"I appreciate the opportunity to work with VyStar because now I am interested in studying accounting in college," said one student and new VyStar employee.
This is the second high school in Duval County to house a VyStar branch. Wolfson High School also holds a VyStar branch, which opened in September 2011. Duval County Public Schools currently has 40 career academy programs and 45 additional CTE (Career and Technical Education) Programs. Seven of the academies meet National Standards and three are National Model Academies.
To view pictures from the grand opening ceremony, visit the
DCPS' Flickr photostream.
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