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News: Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Internships & Business: a win-win for Rick Hansen Secondary

Rick Hansen Secondary School of Science & Business has been paving career pathways for students since its re-design in 2014. With a focus on embracing change, analytical and collaboration skills are infused into the every day student workload.

In partnership with the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce, Rick Hansen Secondary hosted a breakfast on February 28th for over 60 key businesses to learn more about the new and innovative internship program that the school is launching in September 2017. Jan Unwin, Superintendent of Graduation & Student Transitions with Ministry of Education, brought remarks as the breakfast’s key note speaker, sharing about the power of internships in BC and how the education landscape is changing.

"I was really excited to come to Abbotsford and meet many of the people behind the innovative and creative opportunities being provided for students in the Abbotsford School District – and here at Rick Hansen Secondary,” noted Jan Unwin. “It is so powerful when schools, communities and the business world come together in providing students their best life chances in a rapidly changing world.”

Businesses are in the process of signing up for the internships, which will provide Rick Hansen students with authentic internship opportunities in community based organizations. Internships are planned to start in the spring of 2018, with students identifying career areas of interest and the school working to find students placements. The goal is to have students be able to apply the skills they are learning in class in a real world setting, while also having the opportunity to make informed decisions about their career path.

“We are excited that the community has walked with us every step in the development of the Rick Hansen School of Science & Business,” stated Principal David de Wit. “Their willingness to now rally around the concept of internships will make this such a powerful learning opportunity for our students.”

Three professors from the University of the Fraser Valley Education Faculty were also on hand to discuss with the group their research findings on a study they conducted on the new project based learning format Rick Hansen Secondary has implemented. The results are significant in that students are showing noted improvement in communication skills, collaboration skills and research skills. This powerful school-wide transformation is setting students up for success in post-secondary education and their future careers.

Unwin concluded the breakfast by recognizing that what is going on in this District epitomizes all that we are hoping for with the transformation agenda. Rick Hansen Secondary continues to be a leader as the first Science and Business School in BC, proving an innovative learning environment that prepares students for professional careers and future success. Safe to say the sky is the limit for Rick Hansen graduates.


Kayla Stuckart
Manager, Communications

Media Contact:

Kayla Stuckart, Manager of Communications
Phone: (604) 859 – 4891 ext. 1206