Do What Makes Your Heart Sing – Just One Lesson from Hazen’s Community Partner Celebration

Hazen’s Community Partners show up for our students every day. On May 16, they showed up to share breakfast, gratitude, hopes, and dreams for the future! Students had a chance to tell their stories of learning and how they felt respected in our community partners’ workplaces. Guest speaker Beth White with Big Picture Learning, Harbor Freights Fellowship Program, and Habitat for Aviation shared a poignant personal story and led the group in hands-on exercises to illustrate the three components of powerful learning: joy, meaning, and struggle. The lesson? Our youth need to own all three of these to learn their best. And Beth’s advice to all of us? “Do what makes your heart sing!”

When asked what they learned at their work-based or independent learning program, Sawyer Slayton replied, “Resiliency.” Caitlyn Davison learned that she now aspires to be an ER Nurse. Ethan Gann learned confidence in approaching and interviewing adults in the community. All of the students attending shared incredible insights and growth in transferable skills.

We thank all of the community partners who attended including community stakeholders, businesses, school board members, Hazen faculty and staff and community mentors.

And a special shout-out to our student attendees and their employers/mentors:

Omarion Travis -Weidmann's Advanced Manufacturing class and LWI Metalworks

Ethan Gann -Worked with Anna Van Dine to product a podcast which aired on Vermont Public. Listen to the story at

Chris Bagley -The Dream Program (mentoring) at Lakeview Elementary

Sawyer Slayton -Weidmann's Advanced Manufacturing class and Dona's Car Store/Wildcat Busing

Caitlyn Davison -Mansfield Orthopedics

Chase Newell -Hazen's Mentoring Program

Learn how Hazen’s Pathways program offers students flexibility and the opportunity to earn credit through work-based learning and individualized learning opportunities at