BestPrep is a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to best prepare Minnesota students with business, career and financial literacy skills through experiences that inspire success in work and life.
BestPrep’s programs engage 4-12 grade students and their educators in active learning, while connecting them to the world outside the classroom. With the help of more than 4,000 professional volunteers each year, BestPrep bridges classroom curriculum and the business community, enriching the teaching and learning experience for Minnesota students and educators.
BestPrep’s six programs, Classroom Plus, eMentors, Financial Matters, Minnesota Business Venture, The Stock Market Game™ and the Technology Integration Workshop, are built on the foundation that students learn best through active participation in experiential activities. This approach helps students learn how to make sound business, career and financial decisions, to succeed in the workforce and to overcome future challenges.
BestPrep’s commitment to connecting education with business resources has helped 1.3 million students become best prepared for life after high school. Now, more than ever before, students need business, career and financial literacy skills and knowledge in order to turn the challenges of today into successful opportunities in the future.
History of the Organization
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 chosen to lead the project, which compared a traditional lecture format class with an experiential format which 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 six 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.