The concept for BestPrep began with a pilot project conducted at Breck School in 1973. Then economics teacher, Bob Kaitz, was selected by the school’s headmaster to lead the project, which compared a traditional lecture format class with an experiential format that bridged education and business. The impact of the hands-on approach became clear immediately, with the experiential group testing two grades above their current grade level.
Following the success of the pilot project, BestPrep was officially founded in 1976 to help students and teachers in Minnesota gain business and career skills through experiences. With the initial volunteer and financial support of 3M, Cargill, Ecolab, General Mills and Peavey, BestPrep was at the forefront of a national trend of connecting students and educational institutions with members of business, government and social services. By connecting students with members of corporate America, participants gain first-hand exposure and experience to what life after school is really like.
BestPrep continues to bridge the business and education communities today. The organization has reached more than 1.3 million students with seven wide-ranging programs including classroom curriculum, week long summer programs, financial literacy education, career skills development and integrating technology into the classroom. BestPrep’s success is due to its innovative programs, entrepreneurial spirit and on-going collaborations with businesses, schools, teachers and students.