Applied Student Professional Internship and Research Exploration

Program Scope

Within the program there are four distinct stages: Discover, Define, Design, and Deliver.

Contact Us

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  • Photo of Meredith Sprayberry

    Mrs. Emmi Sprayberry 

    Upper School Art Teacher and ASPIRE Lead Coordinator

Discover and Define

The semester course will focus on helping students understand and discover what they might want to study in college and pursue as a future career. The course will utilize the best of both online, asynchronous work and real-time, face-to-face/virtual meetings with faculty mentors and peers.

During the course students will:

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  • Course Activities

    • Engage in networking 
    • Build a resume
    • Present their project proposal to a panel
    • Participate in mock interviews with community businesses
    • Review literature related to the topic
    • Refine and focus topics and areas of exploration
    • Ask questions that provoke thought and creativity and evaluate progress
    • Plan and conduct research and work to realize your creative vision
    • Share drafts and make presentations to other students
    • Learn how to break down a complex project into manageable pieces
Throughout the course, students will hear from various community members and businesses about their different career paths and how they used their passions to make positive changes within their communities.  Finally, students will shadow someone in the community for a day, signing-up for a minimum of two experiences. 

Through completing the spring semester, students will have a better understanding of what they are passionate about and how they can connect that to a career path. Students will explore various career paths, and investigate ways in which their interests might intersect. Students will consider problems that they see in the world and how they might use their talents or possible future career opportunities to help solve them.

Define and Deliver

The summer mentor/internship portion, a 0.5 credit course, provides flexibility for students in their focus  and greater opportunities without the conflict of student life and classes in the school year. Through a partnership with a mentor in the summer, students will expand on the ideas formed from the Spring semester and develop a personal project. Their project will build on their interests and empower them to create positive change in their community. Mentors and Internship providers will give an evaluation of the student and their work at the end of the Summer semester.

Students can choose either Pathway 1 or Pathway 2:

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  • Pathway 1

    Students participate in a more traditional internship summer experience in which they find a mentor and business/organization and spend a minimum of 80 hours engaging in agreed upon tasks. Reflection throughout the summer will be required. (Note: if the student chooses to partner with a community organization, they may petition to have a portion, 10-15, of their hours also count toward their service learning requirement. Hours would be subject to approval based on the final report from a community mentor and final approval from the Aspire Committee.)
  • Pathway 2

    Students plan, execute, and communicate a meaningful project of their own design with the support of an internal and external mentor. For example: they could choose to write a research paper, design a prototype to solve a problem, or engage in artistic expression through the creation of an exhibit or performance. This comprehensive project should demonstrate individual passion as well as analytical, creative, and communication skills. Students will present their projects to the community in the following fall semester.
Subjects of interest include but are not limited to Academic, Action, Entrepreneurial, Community Service, Career Internship, Performing Arts Research, Art portfolio, STEM, Coding, etc. Examples of possible projects students could create: A Website Design devoted to their topic where content emerges from the students research, Documentary Film, Ted Talk, Museum Exhibition, etc. The project must have lasting continuity, and not be limited to one weekend, week, or month and should present new challenges and opportunities for learning.

South Campus | PK-3 to Grade 4

4120 Old Canton Road | Jackson, Mississippi 39216
Tel 601.987.9300 | Fax 601.987.9324

North Campus | Grades 5 to 12

370 Old Agency Road | Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157
Tel 601.853.6000 | Fax 601.853.6001