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Anchorage School District Graduates First Business Academy Cohort – Alaska Business Magazine



The academy benefits students in several ways, Potter says. Accessing college-level business courses while in high school gives them a jump start on career and college preparation. Students also have opportunities to meet and network with each other and adults in the business community, and internships provide real-world experience. Academy graduates are more prepared to become employees or entrepreneurs.

Student Christalyn Matheson says, “Being part of the Business Academy has helped me grow in so many ways, personally, professionally, and academically. For the fall semester I’m going to attend the University of Pennsylvania to study accounting and finance.”

Another participant, Rylee Abbett, says, “I gained so much confidence! I can do this!”

Benefits to business owners and managers are also tangible. “When our business partners host an intern,” says Potter, “they are an important part of the pipeline supporting students in their next steps after graduation.” Some businesses end up hiring their interns, she says—a win-win situation.

Dawn Hoxie, a branch manager at Northrim Bank, says the academy was a great partnership because the bank worked directly with teens to show them the ins and outs of working in a professional environment. Hoxie says the institution’s employees got to experience “mentoring a young adult to prepare them for the workforce.”

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