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The Aegis
Harford County

Edgewood High School teacher plans to bring innovative career opportunities from his externship to his students

De’Von Moore, a business teacher at Edgewood High School, was one of 20 teachers across Maryland selected to participate in the Maryland Chamber Foundation’s Teacher Externship program.

The teacher externship is a “four-week summer program that bridges the gap between businesses and educators by pairing high school teachers with top Maryland businesses [that] provide hands-on experience in industries related to the subjects they teach,” according to the Maryland Chamber of Commerce website. This is the fourth year the externship has been offered.

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“Teachers can make life-altering impressions on the lives of their students,” said Whitney Harmel, executive director the Maryland Chamber Foundation. “Building this bridge between educators and businesses opens up a wealth of opportunity for thousands of Maryland high schoolers as they make critical career and life decisions. Businesses are facing significant challenges with attracting, hiring and retaining skilled workers to fill high-paying positions, and we aim to create real pathways for our diverse population of Maryland students to follow toward lucrative careers.”

Moore, who is going into his second year as a teacher, specializes in entrepreneurship, global business and financial tech literacy. He applied to the program so he could gain more experience and provide information to his students, such as what employers are looking for in applicants. He completed his externship with insurance provider UnitedHealthcare.

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“Every year, I want to learn something new to bring back something new for my students,” Moore said. “When they asked for people to apply to work with these different companies, I saw it as a great opportunity.”

During the four-week externship, Moore discovered a variety of jobs available in the insurance industry and networked with industry experts, so he can better set his students up for success. He learned about jobs in actuarial science, and with the diversity team and the travel insurance department.

Moore said he gained invaluable experiences and perspectives that he can share with his students, such as how to address racial and social disparities in health care, promote health and increase medical knowledge, especially with young people. He plans to use his experience to help kids find a job that fits their vision for themselves.

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Moore said he will use connections he developed during his externship to link students with employers in the health care industry based on the students’ interests.

Moore also wants to focus some of his lessons on the development of soft skills, such as communication, because of the demand for such skills in the work place.

“We will definitely have to work on their soft skills because a lot of times companies, when they put up job postings, they look for hard skills,” he said. “But, when you actually get into the interview, the people doing the interviews are looking for soft skills.”

Moore received a $6,500 stipend from the Maryland Chamber Foundation for his work and said he hopes to complete another externship in the future. Teachers in the program can earn up to four continuing development credits through the Maryland State Department of Education if they create a lesson plan post-externship and report back on results. The four-week program ended Aug. 5.

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