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Mentoring Matters: 'Executive Pass Program' Allows Execs To Share Expertise With Students

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A statewide program is pairing school principals with local business executives to benefit students.

Carrie Baron isn't a teacher, but she sure can command a classroom.

"Math is only so interesting until you put a dollar sign in front of the numbers. Then those numbers get a lot more interesting," Baron told a class of captivated students recently.

She's not an educator, per se, but she definitely has a few lessons for everyone at Young Women's Preparatory Academy, even the principal.

"It's a benefit for me because she's a CEO and I'm a CEO of the school. It also benefits our students," said principal Connie Martinez.

"They come to me asking for maybe help with their college admission essays," Baron said. "Or they'll come to me maybe asking for a letter of recommendation."

Baron and Martinez work together through the Council for Educational Change's "Executive Pass Program," and they think of the school as their business.

"Our students are our clients, and we know that there's a need for them to learn about financial literacy, especially going on to colleges. Carrie has been instrumental in being able to do that and sharing her knowledge and experience," Martinez told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana.

"They try to see what can we work on that will enhance the academic success of the students. In this particular school what they've done is extraordinary," said council president Elaine Liftin. "Not only does Carrie work with the principal to take a look at how do we secure additional partners. What is it we can do to enhance the resources at the school for the students. She herself actually goes in and teaches about financial planning."

Baron and Martinez set their objectives and come up with strategies to accomplish them.

They decided to focus on mentoring and tutoring for students, as well as professional development activities.

To that end, Baron shares her own career path with young ladies in hopes of inspiring them to consider a career in finance.

"I love what I do, and for me to be able to work with students and share this with them and show them that there are options out there," Baron said.

This mentoring relationship is a two-way street, with both Connie and Carrie learning from each other.

But ultimately, the students at Women's Prep in Little Havana are the true beneficiaries of this unique partnership.

"The students are the ones that get the latest information. The best information and that's why I say It's a win-win-win," Liftin said.

"It's an incredible program and a chance to expose young students to fields that maybe they never would have been exposed to before," Baron added.

And it's working!

While we were visiting the school, Baron found out a recent graduate actually changed her major to accounting because of her guidance.

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at

Click here for more Mentoring Matters.

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