Portland High School Partner Spotlight: Tyler Karu

Submitted by Andrea Levinsky, Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator, Portland High School. Each month we will feature a community partner. We are excited to open this series with Tyler Karu!

Tyler Karu of Tyler Karu Design and Interiors has been an incredible partner of Portland High’s Extended Learning Opportunities since November of 2016. She has participated in every possible opportunity including hosting students for job shadow day and internships in addition to serving on career panels and doing mock interviews for 9th graders.

Tyler was inspired to start working with Portland High because she wanted to set an example of a strong woman in business. She says, “I wanted to be example of someone who can make a mark in my own little community…[I wanted to show that] women have a seat at the table and can do anything we want.” 

She has continued to work with Portland High School over the years because she is inspired by the students. She finds that the student body is interested and engaged. She says, “There aren’t a lot of high schools that prepare students for real life. I think Portland High just does such a good job with that and it makes kids more interested in job and professional life and learning about careers and future directions. I think Portland High is preparing the students for life skills.”

To other businesses that want to get involved, she says that, “It is our responsibility as business owners and professional people to reach back out into the community and offer help and support. What better group to reach out to than high schoolers who are thinking about the next step in their lives?”

Through Extended Learning Opportunities, Tyler is able to “make a difference on a fundamental and pragmatic level,” she says. “there’s nothing more valuable.”

Business partners make a profound impact in students as well. In her internship with Tyler, Gloria Sanchez was able to solidify her passion for her chosen career path of interior design. She gained experience in creating designs and working with clients. Gloria was even hired by the company for a summer job following her internship!

We are so grateful for Tyler’s continued partnership and her leadership in supporting our students. If you are interested in getting involved with Portland High School’s Extended Learning Opportunities program through job shadows, mock interviews, internships, or career panels. Please contact Andrea Levinsky, Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator at levina@portlandschools.org