Developing Business Skills
for Her Future Bakery

At NorthPointe Christian, many of our students thrive in a traditional classroom environment. For others, the thought of sitting in school for 7 hours a day is unbearable, as they’d rather be fixing cars, baking, chopping wood, or welding. For one sophomore student, the Big Picture Learning Program was a perfect fit: pursuing a high school education, but with an emphasis on discovering her God-given talents, passions, and interests.

Having attended NorthPointe since 5th grade, Darby knew about the Big Picture Learning Program and found the internship component of the program particularly interesting. After some conversation with her parents, Darby enrolled in the Big Picture Learning Program. As a hands-on, experiential learner, Darby knew that traditional education wouldn’t continue to be an enjoyable experience for her education. Instead, she seized the opportunity to investigate her passions, gaining real-world experience and building her professional resume before graduating from high school. 

As I spoke with Darby about her experience, she offered four reasons she loves Big Picture Learning and her current internship at Nantucket Bakery:

  1. Integrated Learning

Big Picture Learning allows Darby to fuse her career interests with what she learns in the classroom. Not only does she have the opportunity to pursue internships that align with her interests, but she also cited the classroom environment as being extraordinarily influential in her ability to integrate her internship experience with her education. Her teachers not only get to know her personally, but love hearing about her high school internship experience and assign projects that allow her to incorporate work experience with in-class subject learning. For example, her math class at NorthPointe allows her to investigate the integration of statistics, data analytics, and other math tools in real-world settings. 

  1. Unique Learning Experiences

Each semester, Darby has pursued a different internship experience. During her freshman year, she interned at Chick-Fil-A and at NorthPointe’s Preschool and Elementary campus, where she worked with Kindergarten students. In her sophomore year, she worked at Our Daily Bread and is now interning at Nantucket Bakery.

While some students might not be excited about a different internship each semester, Darby cited the uniqueness of each internship as an opportunity to learn new, unique skills. At Chick-Fil-A, Darby loved the integration of business skills, customer service, and conflict resolution. Working with Kindergarten students, Darby developed her knowledge and implementation of different teaching techniques, learning strategies, and more. At Our Daily Bread, Darby was given the opportunity to experience the writing, editing, and publishing process, culminating in the publication of her own article, Why Church is Important to Me. Now, her internship at Nantucket Bakery is providing her hands-on experience in business operations, order fulfillment, and other skills necessary to run a successful business. 

Each of these unique learning experiences has offered Darby the opportunity to build her professional portfolio while discovering her God-given interests, talents and passions.

  1. Relational and Professional Confidence

In addition to her appreciation for diverse internship experiences, Darby cites her time in Big Picture Learning as influential in the growth of her relational and professional confidence, both in her internships and in the classroom. 

Because of the real-world experience she’s gathered across a variety of her high school internships, Darby has quickly developed a relational and professional confidence that aids her in a variety of settings. Working with people from diverse age and life backgrounds at Chick-Fil-A, NorthPointe, Our Daily Bread and Nantucket Bakery has helped Darby grow more confident in her ability to have conversations with people she doesn’t know, interact with others in a variety of professional settings, and be a self-motivated worker that contributes to a larger goal.

The relational and professional confidence Darby gleaned from her internship experience carries into her relationships with teachers and classmates. Not only is Darby able to build and maintain relationships, but works hard and is a self-motivated learner, not requiring much oversight from teachers. She enjoys the balance between in-class and real-world experience, which builds her confidence and her professional portfolio at the same time.

  1. Preparing for the Future

Even as a high school sophomore, Darby’s internships have equipped her to prepare for her future. Following graduation, Darby hopes to open a bakery. Thanks to her work experience at Chick-Fil-A and Nantucket, Darby has already started to develop her abilities in and knowledge of business operations, order fulfillment, customer service and the other tools necessary for success as a business owner. Over the next two years of high school, Darby hopes to pursue additional internships that will further develop her business acumen and pave the way for her to open her own bakery.

As we concluded our conversation, I asked Darby how she might persuade a future NorthPointe student to consider the Big Picture Learning Program. Her answer?

  1. If you want to be prepared for life and a future career instead of sitting in a classroom all day, this program is for you.
  2. This program will not only grant you an incredible resume and opportunity to investigate possible careers before college, but equip you with all of the skills you need for success in every aspect of your life.
  3. The Big Picture Learning Program is like an at-school family. You have an incredible opportunity to get to know teachers well, build relationships with your classmates, and receive mentorship from internship supervisors, teachers, and fellow students.

The Big Picture Learning Program has offered Darby (and dozens of other students!) the opportunity to pursue their interests and passions while obtaining real-world experience and building their resume. We are so excited to witness Darby’s continued growth as she pursues her dream of opening a bakery.

Are you interested in Big Picture Learning for your high school student? We’d love to meet with you, give you a tour, and discuss the program’s offerings. Contact us at to schedule your tour and receive more information.