Team Academy prepares students for the workforce with Workplace Learning


Luca Roy

Juniors Arden Franklin, Ethan Horton and Micah Arnold take Workplace Learning and have located volunteer opportunities.

The transition from school to the workforce defines a critical change for many young people. And for those who want to attend college, the pressure to pick a major for a specific career path can result in an especially tumultuous process. The Team program, recently introduced to Archie Williams this school year, offers a resource for students to enter the workforce. 

Founded in 1990, the Team program began as a one-year commitment for juniors at Tamiscal High School. Now an academy at Archie Williams, Team is a resource for both juniors and seniors. Based on experiential learning and community building, the curriculum includes untraditional classes such as Wilderness Medicine, Leadership, and Workplace Learning.

Although juniors and seniors in Team have the option to take Workplace Learning, it is only required during senior year. The class teaches students to initiate their own internships and volunteer opportunities, and provides class time for students to fulfill these commitments. During seventh period, Workplace Learning students may leave to work at their off-campus sites for at least three hours each week.

Team dedicates the fall semester to volunteering, and the spring semester to internships, all which connect to specific career-oriented interests. However, junior Ethan Horton skipped straight to interning at a North Bay marketing company called Brainblaze.

“As somebody who wants to go into marketing and wants to major in a part of marketing, it didn’t really make sense for me to [change jobs halfway through the year],” Ethan said. 

Ethan enjoys working with his supervisor at Brainblaze and plans to continue the internship into his senior year. He hopes to gain more independent experience within the company and work more directly on selling and buying ads. 

To obtain his internship, teachers guided Ethan to find a work opportunity that would help him later down his career path. After making decisions and submitting applications, he found his place in the marketing internship. 

“Going through the process of finding that internship was pretty similar to going through the process of finding a job,” Ethan said. 

Junior Micah Arnold also takes advantage of Workplace Learning by volunteering at Open Classroom, a multi-age and parent-cooperative elementary school program in Lagunitas. The ability to gain an internship to figure out his career-sparking passions through Workplace Learning initially incentivized Micah to join Team. 

Micah attended Open Classroom for elementary school and jumped at the opportunity to connect with the community again. Next semester, he hopes to gain more from his position by working up to a leadership position and involving himself in more individual projects with the students.

Earlier in the year, Micah looked for an opportunity to intern in the fire service.  However, his time in Workplace Learning has allowed him to take a step back and evaluate his future career path.

“I was possibly thinking about joining the fire department after high school, but recently, I’ve really got my mindset on becoming a military officer,” Micah said. 

Micah believes the class is truly valuable, and through the opportunity to explore his career path he has been able to understand himself better and plan for the future. After receiving an education from a military university, he hopes to become an elementary school teacher.

Junior Arden Franklin volunteers at the San Anselmo Library for her fall semester volunteer project. At the library, she enjoys giving back to the community while spending time at a place she values. Arden chose to take part in the class as a junior, adding two years of work experience to her college applications. 

“I think it’d be really cool if they could open up [Workspace Learning to any student]. It’s just a really good class experience,” Arden said.