Walton Family Foundation Grant Helping Ignite Program Grow

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A $1.1 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation is helping expand a professional studies program at Bentonville High School.

The Ignite Program allows students to receive college credit before graduating high school, and they can participate in professional internships.

The grant will help the program move forward with an expansion that includes advanced studies in robotics, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

The school says the grant will encourage student sot consider a career in these fields. It also gives students experience in their selected career fields, so they can narrow down what they might want to do as adults.

Senior Nithya Sundar wants to pursue a career in a medical field. She says the grant will provide a simulator that will give her class hands-on experience.

“You can see from the bone to the muscles to the nerves and it’s something that you can’t imagine or see in a textbook but you can with a simulator,” she said. “Another thing with the grant we could do is we could get high tech equipment that will simulate the hospital environment before we are here and give us better background knowledge.”

More than 250 students are enrolled in the Ignite Program, and 98 percent of them will receive six hours of college credit before graduating high school.

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