EHS Alumni Foundation Helps Launch Avenue Scholars at East High

At the start of this school year, a partnership between Avenue Scholars and Des Moines Public Schools was announced to create new education and career opportunities for DMPS high school students. The Omaha-based organization provides comprehensive, individualized support services to help students identify, prepare for, and ultimately enter financially sustaining, high-demand careers.

Initially the plan called for the program to begin this August at Roosevelt High School and then expand to the other four DMPS high schools over the following two years. But, thanks to support from the EHS Alumni Foundation, East High School will also offer Avenue Scholars starting next school year.

“We believe incorporating Avenue Scholars at East High School will give our students a broader range of opportunities,” said Jeff White, EHS Alumni Foundation president. “We already have an incredible college scholarship program in place, but now we can put more resources toward immediate career paths for graduating seniors. The potential is very exciting ― for our students and their families, for area employers who need people, and for our alumni donors who have expressed interest in supporting skilled trades.”

What is Avenue Scholars and how does it work?

The program starts in a student’s junior year of high school and continues uninterrupted through postsecondary training and up to six months following career entry. Eligibility is based on financial need (such as eligibility for free or reduced-price school lunches or a federal Pell Grant), interest in pursuing a high-demand career requiring an associate degree or less, and attendance at a partner high school.

Each student is assigned a Career Coach at both the high school and postsecondary/career levels of the program to guide their personal and career-related development during the junior and senior years of high school (High School Career Coach) and during postsecondary training and into career entry (Postsecondary Career Coach). Students will also receive support from DMACC with college-related issues (course enrollment, financial aid, academic support, etc.). Additionally, Avenue Scholars’ Business Outreach Team engages area businesses to provide career awareness, exploration, and employment opportunities, while its Student Support Team provides individualized support to help students address basic life and social/emotional needs.

By the start of the 2024-25 school year Avenue Scholars will also be at Hoover, Lincoln and North high schools. Once fully implemented, each high school will serve approximately 50 students (25 junior and 25 seniors) each school year. While Avenue Scholars will soon have a presence at each of the five comprehensive high schools, students in the program will also be encouraged to take classes at Central Campus that fit their career objectives.

The program is being made available at DMPS thanks to the support of MidAmerican Energy.

Visit to learn more about the program.