BELLEVUE, Neb. — Governor Pete Ricketts' father, businessman and philanthropist Joe Ricketts, created an educational non-profit to change the traditional way of learning called Opportunity Education.
"Basically what we are doing right now is evolving from teaching young people for the Industrial Revolution to teaching people for the digital age," he said.
Through the non-profit came Quest Forward Academy Omaha located inside the Bellevue University campus. The private high school prides itself on doing things a little differently than typical classrooms.
"We try to teach them that education is theirs and they need to own it. Our teachers act much more as mentors and guides," director Mark Smith said.
Their hands on, technological approach put them in the perfect position to offer a virtual summer program - to help local students avoid what experts now call the "COVID-slide."
"I think most families are a little bit nervous about how the school year ended for all of our kids. It didn't go as everybody planned and a lot of families and a lot of students are probably wondering am I really prepared to enter high school," Smith said.
The online two-week program will focus on reading and math. Students can choose to do one or both as mentors guide them through the curriculums virtually.
"This is mainly for students that just finished eighth grade, are looking to go into ninth grade this fall, but they don't have to be coming to Quest Forward Academy this fall. This is open to any student going into any high school in the Omaha area," Smith added.
There is no deadline to register but the courses do begin July 13. There is no cost to attend the program, there is however a $50 dollar registration fee. You can also request an enrollment fee waiver due to financial hardship.
To enroll and learn more: