RALEIGH, N.C. (3/5/12)--Bob Eaves, husband of North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, visited the State Employees' Credit Union's (SECU) Raleigh Stonehenge branch Tuesday in support of North Carolina Business Committee for Education Students@Work Week.
Bob Eaves (second row left), husband of North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, is shown with West Millbrook Middle School students; teacher Diane Walters, first row, right; and Karyn Roth, State Employees' CU branch senior vice president, far right, during a visit to SECU's Raleigh Stonehenge branch as part of the North Carolina Business Committee for Education Students@Work Week. (Photo provided by State Employees' Credit Union)
During his visit, Eaves spoke with students from West Millbrook Middle School, who visited the credit union to learn about the importance of education to create future career opportunities. SECU personnel gave a branch tour to the group of seventh-grade students, allowing them to see various SECU career options first-hand.
Started by Eaves in 2010, the Students@Work program focuses on raising North Carolina's graduation rate by collaborating with educators and local business communities to provide job shadowing or mentoring opportunities to students in real workplace settings.
During Students@Work Week last year, SECU personnel provided workplace tours and presentations to 11,650 students and the credit union anticipated exceeding that number this year.
SECU branches statewide took-part in the week-long program, which ran from Feb. 27 through March 2. This year, 62 companies, covering all 100 North Carolina counties, participated in the program, nearly doubling last year's number of participants.
More than 25% of North Carolina students do not complete high school, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The Students@Work initiative focuses on middle school students because that grade level is a crucial time for dropout prevention.
"It's important that the business community understand that they are vital stakeholders in education," said Eaves. "Job shadowing opportunities can help students develop goals with the knowledge that their education will be relevant in the workplace."