Go seek your dreams if you believe
that you have wonders to achieve.
Take up the life that's left to you,
to seek your dreams and make them true.
- Charles W. Bowser
Because he felt schools were not meeting the needs of at-risk students, he conceived of instruction that would prepare students for work, tie in together, and make sense for the learner. Although he was not an educator, his brain child was utilizing some concepts pioneered by education great John Dewey decades earlier. But Mr. Bowser interwove those concepts with components of his own design, making the concept of "High School Academies" truly unique. The first academy to openly experiment with Mr. Bowser's concepts was the Academy of Applied Electrical Engineering at Edison High School in Philadelphia. That academy opened its doors in the fall of 1969.
The Honorable Al Glassman was principal of Edison High School overseeing implementation and development of the first career academy.
"We wanted to give this academy something that would distinguish it in the minds of the youngsters as something different and very special that they could belong to and be an important part of."
- Al Glassman
The Honorable Ehsanullah Ehsan took the Philadelphia model of career academies outside the United States to Kandahar, Afghanistan. There he uses career academies to educate young women and prepare them for careers, in defiance of the Taliban.
"This award is for all of Afghanistan. It's for the 800 girls who bravely come to school every day."
- Ehsanullah Ehsan
Watch the award video
Watch Afghan TV newscast
The Honorable John Thompson was the lead teacher for the first career academy teacher team. Together they created curriculum integration between career classes and academic courses at a systemic level.
"Curriculum integration started working because we as teachers met, communicated, and worked hard over the dining table late at night ... The family as a whole stayed together and supported each other."
- John Thompson