Ag industry's future leaders first to graduate from Wonderful Ag Prep program
On Saturday, The Wonderful Company Co-Owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick led a celebration of the 90-strong inaugural graduating class of the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program (Ag Prep) at a special event held at Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano, CA. More than 300 family, friends, and community members gathered to honor students graduating with an associate of science degree along with their high school diploma. Nearly all the students are going on to four-year universities. One third of those are continuing their studies in ag business or plant science, which means they’ll enter college as juniors. Most are the first in their families to go to college.
“Our Ag Prep graduates are the pioneers of a new way to look at high school and college education,” said Lynda Resnick, vice chair and co-owner of The Wonderful Company. “These kids are living, breathing inspirations of what’s possible when smart kids are given a fair and equal opportunity.”
More than 1,000 students are currently enrolled in the Ag Prep program at seven high schools. In addition to their core curriculum, high schoolers take courses conducted by college professors, earning college credit, so they’re going to high school and college simultaneously. At the same time, they’re immersed in real-world work experiences at The Wonderful Company and other area ag. businesses. Each student completes an intensive internship, with exposure to career opportunities related to agricultural technology, plant science, business management, and other aspects of the region’s most vital industry.
Ag Prep is transforming secondary education in the Central Valley into a personally relevant, wholly engaging experience for all levels of students — exposing them to previously unimagined college and career opportunities.
Wonderful Education Background
The Wonderful Company, parent company of iconic brands POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios & Wonderful Almonds, and Wonderful Halos, is committed to investing in and collaborating with the communities where its employees live and work. Without education and the promise of economic opportunity, those communities cannot sustain themselves. That’s why The Wonderful Company created Wonderful Education, with a mission to enable a lifetime of career opportunities by significantly increasing the number of college graduates in California’s Central Valley.
Funded by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company, Wonderful Education serves 55,000 students and partners with educational leaders, colleges, and teachers across 24 school districts to improve educational opportunities and enhance the quality of life for children throughout the Central Valley. Initiatives include agricultural career training, college scholarships, school grants, summer camps, arts education, early childhood programs and preschools, teacher development and parent engagement programs.