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Launching the students of Coleman Middle School in Wichita into the future

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Some Wichita students are more aware of what their future may hold after an event at Coleman Environmental Magnet Middle School on Thursday.

The school held its first Cougar Launch Day.

“We want to make sure everyone has a chance to think about all the opportunities that are available to them and their futures,” said Sam Belsan, Coleman’s eighth grade teacher. “We wanted students to be able to learn about career opportunities, so we invited a group of community members who are successful, people who run businesses and are part of organizations and were able to talk about different industries.”

The students participated in three sessions. One focused on continuing education after high school, one on career fields, and one on community involvement.

Belsan said it’s important to reach out to students when they’re this age.

“Middle school is a time where a lot of people are determining what they want to be when they grow up,” she said. “I can learn about opportunities and be ready for the future by starting to think about it now. As they get to high school and beyond, they have more time spent thinking about it.

Belsan said they called it Cougar Launch Day because they want to launch students forward.

“We kind of want to be like a stepping stone, so we used images of rockets and just the idea of ​​being ready for the future, ready for exploration.”

More than 80 community partners took part in the day.

“As we were planning it, I don’t know if we got a lot of no’s,” Belsan said. “I know when I was planning our community session, I reached out and people said, ‘Yeah, we’d like to roll up our sleeves, dig in and get to work on this.’ So I was overwhelmed by the positive response.

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