Gaining Valuable Work Experience by Applying and Integrating CTE Skills

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Work-based learning

At a Glance

Universal Audenreid Charter High School CTE, Culinary and Communications, students gain valuable work experience and apply the skills they learned in their programs by participating at a local fashion show fundraiser.


Universal Audenreid students from the Culinary Arts and the Arts, Entertainment and Communication Academies are very involved in the “Style and Grace” fashion show fundraiser that the Universal Companies Foundation sponsors. Through their involvement in the event, students gain work experiences and obtain internships. Culinary Arts students help plan the menu, order the food and materials, and cook and serve the meal at the event. Students in the Arts Academy film the fashion show, interview dignitaries attending the event and prepare a video of the evening’s activities.

Origin / Implementation

Universal Audenreid Charter High School serves low-income and economically disadvantaged students. (The Universal Companies Foundation provides housing, economic development, health and education services to low-income residents of South Philadelphia.) Universal Audenreid Charter High School replaced a neighborhood high school that was failing to meet the needs of the students it served. In response, Universal Audenreid was re-conceptualized using a Career Academy focus with the intention of providing students real world and rigorous learning experiences in their program areas while also providing them opportunities to apply their skills in the greater Philadelphia community.

With this focus in mind, administrators view student participation in the fashion show fundraiser as a unique and meaningful opportunity for students to develop their skills and gain relevant experience while giving back to the community.  In 2013, the school began its involvement with the fundraiser, and over 30 academy students participated. Students are recruited and encouraged to participate based on their individual skill levels.  Key PAC members then help prepare and train the students for the event.

Results / Impact

Administrators report that the fundraiser event went extremely well for students.  The students enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and consider it an honor to be asked to participate. The Fashion Show is a bi-annual event.  However, similar events take place throughout the school year and provide similar opportunities for students to apply their skills and learn all aspects of the industry.


Larry Aniloff
Universal Companies, Vice-President for Career and Technical Educational