Bringing Careers to Life for 8th Graders

Today’s guest post comes from Dr. Lewis Ferebee, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools.

Just over three years ago, I was honored and humbled to be appointed as superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools. I proudly serve Indianapolis students and families as a member of the family business, as I was raised by educators who instilled in me a lifelong commitment to creating opportunities for young people through public education.

One of the opportunities I’m excited to offer IPS students is JA JobSpark. JobSpark will be an eye-opening experience for thousands of IPS 8th graders to see into the world of work in Indianapolis. Many IPS students see the downtown skyline from their backyards or on their way to school but have never been given the chance to learn what goes on inside those buildings every day. A year ago, I asked our business partners to fix that exposure gap. JobSpark was their answer.


I’m thrilled to partner with Junior Achievement, Lilly and more than 100 other businesses to offer this unique learning experience. Junior Achievement (JA) has been a great asset for Indianapolis students for many years and was a natural partner to lead this initiative. JA has an extensive and engaged volunteer network and delivers the curriculum and training needed for volunteers to advance student learning. We’re thankful for their leadership on this project.

On behalf of the IPS community, I would also like to thank the thousands of volunteers who have generously given their time, effort and talent to make this a reality for Indianapolis students. This is a truly unique initiative to provide hands-on career learning opportunities for students across Marion County. The scale of the event and the quality of the learning experience would not be possible without all of the JobSpark volunteers and the participating businesses that have contributed funds to the effort. Thank you to every individual and business making JobSpark possible, and special thanks to Lilly and IU Health for their tremendous partnership.

I’m excited for a wonderful event and look forward to a program that will help our students learn for years to come.