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The History of the BEC


The Durango community has been supporting high school internships for over a decade, and thank you doesn’t begin to do justice to our many mentors.


Both Animas High School (AHS) and Big Picture High School (BPHS) opened their doors in 2009 with AHS LINK Internships and BPHS LTI Internships as backbones to their unique career preparation programs. The two schools began collaborating on their internship coordination, both to benefit the students and to consider the wider implications on the community of numerous student interns in the field. With time, it became clear that a centralized work-based learning hub would benefit both the students and the community of supporters. 


Meanwhile, Durango High School was busy building their Career & Technical Education (CTE) programming for their students, offering eleven different pathways for students to gain experience and training in top growing career fields. When DHS decided to expand their CTE program to include internships and secured the Homegrown Talent Initiative grant to support the growth, it became clear that a centralized work-based learning hub would absolutely be necessary. 

Janae Hunderman had been building the internship and work-based learning programs at Animas High School for five years and was excited to launch a new, community-wide program. The three schools collaborated and agreed to jointly hire Janae in the first shared position between Animas High School and Durango School District 9-R. Thus, in July of 2020, the Business Education Connection was born.


Janae is extra thankful to Taylor, a high school senior who helped design the BEC logo and this website! Janae left the BEC in January 2022 when she was hired by the Colorado Workforce Development Council and Colorado Department of Education as an Education Consultant, where she now supports school districts and communities throughout the state to develop cutting edge work-based learning programs. 

Marie Kehm was hired to take the BEC to its next level. She comes to the program with a wealth of experience from her time at Fort Lewis College Career Services and as a Career Counselor for the La Plata County Employment First Program. She's excited to prepare students to be well-informed and to have many work-based learning experiences before making their postsecondary decisions. 

Reach out to Marie if you'd like to get involved!

(970) 828-2701

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