Work-based learning AIMEs students in the right direction

The AIME program opens up many doors and opportunities for students by providing them with real world experience.


Dr. Elizabeth Hind

Learning New Skills: Biotechnology students at an Edwards Lifesciences work experience from AIME learned about medical equipment and presented projects to the CEO.

Trisha Phan and Justin Le

Anaheim’s Innovative Mentoring Experience (AIME) is an AUHSD program that facilitates student growth throughout the district. Partnering with businesses and local organizations, students can explore how professionals work in their fields, discovering different career pathways and gaining connections within their community.


Starting as a student-led initiative when over 5000 students petitioned the city of Anaheim to improve educational support, AIME became an AUHSD program in 2016 due to its support and growth. Today, it aspires to find new partnerships to provide a variety of experiences from healthcare to finance for students.


Through partnerships with esteemed organizations such as Disney, Chapman University, and Kaiser Permanente, students often leave AIME with positive memories and newfound connections. Currently, freshman Ria Mishra is in an internship with the Webmaster Program, where computer science and design-oriented students maintain AUHSD websites. She finds it useful in developing coding skills and meeting people with similar interests. 


“I gained more drive and motivation to go for opportunities,” said Mishra. This program has [also] aided me in becoming more confident in my writing skills. I am glad that I can become more confident in my overall academic skills through this.”


This year, AIME has empowered roughly 200 students in fields such as finance, biotechnology, and film-making. This influx in student involvement comes as a result of Dr. Hind — Oxford’s Work-based Learning Coordinator — working to increase student awareness of opportunities in collaboration with AIME director MJ Cooke who is dedicated to creating partnerships for students.


Currently, Cooke hopes to attract anchor partners for AUHSD exclusive pathways — such as cybersecurity, biotech, and artificial intelligence — that can enhance the specific pathway for students through offering exclusive services in that particular pathway.


“The ultimate goal of [AIME] is that students participate in activities [at] every grade level,” said Cooke. “Just think about the industry exploration a student can achieve before they even graduate.”


Applications for AIME’s summer programs open in February. Students can look forward to gaining experiences that prepare them for the workplace’s demands and allow them to make connections within the community. AUHSD’s staff continues to work hard in improving students’ preparation for their futures.


“I just want to provide opportunities that are going to help people discover direction in life they didn’t know about previously or to confirm what they want to do,” said Hind. “Students today are doing wonderful, incredible things that give them experience for things they might want to do in life.”