Louisiana Jump Start: Preparing Students for Nontraditional Careers
Complimentary 1-hour session
Sponsored by NAPE, STEM Equity Pipeline, and the National Science Foundation

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Louisiana Jump Start is investing in expanding support for high-demand career fields. This webinar will provide an overview of Louisiana’s economy and the career opportunities supported by Jump Start. In addition, participants will learn about NAPE’s STEM Equity Pipeline implementation in Louisiana and the results of the Program Improvement Process for Equity™ pilot site, West Baton Rouge Parish Schools, in increasing the participation of females in its STEM-related Jump Start programs. Two students will share their experiences in their nontraditional CTE programs: Oil and Gas Production and Engineering.

Intended Audience

Secondary, Community College, and State administrators/faculty/staff and program coordinators/counselors/advisors interested in increasing the participation and completion of underrepresented students in nontraditional CTE programs


Participants will:

  1. Understand the implications of the success of Jump Start on Louisiana’s economy and workforce.
  2. Learn about and how to access NAPE’s resources and professional development programs that support the Louisiana STEM Equity Pipeline.
  3. Identify and apply the best practices being implemented at West Baton Rouge Parish Schools that have significantly increased the participation of females in its nontraditional Jump Start programs.
zenonDr. Esperanza Zenon is an associate professor at River Parishes Community College. She is a former captain in the U.S. Army and has a PhD in science/mathematics education and an MS in physics. She currently teaches physical science courses and has also taught physics courses. She is the division coordinator for math and natural sciences and the chair of the Center for Teaching Excellence Committee. She also serves on many other committees at the college.
SchowenSusana Schowen joined LED FastStart, a division of Louisiana Economic Development, in June 2011. As the director of workforce initiatives, she implements high-level strategies focused on systemic workforce reform. Using analyses of workforce supply and demand, she collaborates with educational stakeholders to align offerings to the needs of Louisiana employers. Prior to joining LED, Schowen managed a private technical college in Baton Rouge after creating a nationwide basic skills program focused on underperforming high schools for Thomson Peterson’s. She has held a number of positions with Kaplan, Inc., managing test preparation courses, financial services training, and online college programs. She received degrees in chemistry from Wellesley College and Columbia University.
ArrasmithMary Wilson Arrasmith coordinates career and technical Programs for the school district of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. She also serves as an instructional strategist for high school students with disabilities, helping them transition to the workforce. As an adjunct faculty at Louisiana State University in the College of Education and as adjunct faculty at the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, she helps to prepare special education teachers for certification.
DelarosaAs a senior at Port Allen High School, Carissa Delarosa is completing the Oil and Gas Production program. She is the only high school student in Louisiana to be named a recipient of the DOW PTECH scholarship.
BrownTyra Brown is a junior at Port Allen High School and a first-year student in the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering program. She is also an honor student and a member of the band.
Mimi original 3Mimi Lufkin CEO of NAPE has more than 30 years of experience as an educator and as an administrator of local and state-level projects in California and Pennsylvania. Before joining NAPE in 1995, she was a teacher educator, executive director of a women’s microenterprise development agency, and director of development for a community college. In addition to her administrative responsibilities as NAPE’s CEO, she works with state and local educators to implement program improvement strategies for STEM.