Summit Career Center is a nonprofit organization fostering economic and spiritual empowerment by helping motivated people in Ravalli and Missoula Counties to grow personally and succeed professionally through career and community development.
Our belief is that there are no “ordinary people”. God makes each one of us “Extraordinary”. The Summit Career Center’s goal is to provide a helping hand to motivated individuals who have a passion to change the current direction of their lives. Through personal, economic and spiritual development our students will have the opportunity to become “extraordinary” leaders for their families and their community by abolishing relational, economic, and spiritual barriers through career and community development.
The Summit Career Center story cannot begin without first telling the story of the Fort Owen Ranch; for it was the location of Montana’s first pioneer settlement. Nestled in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley, the ranch began in 1850 when John Owen, a former Army sutler (or trader), purchased property, settled by the Jesuit missionaries in 1841. They were invited to the valley by the Salish and Nez Perce Indians.
Mr. Owen, along with his beloved Shoshone wife Nancy, built Fort Owen as a trading post. During their stewardship, John and Nancy labored continuously to improve farming, ranching, logging and other industries, some of which are still in practice today. Because of John’s friendly and generous nature, the Fort Owen also served as a respite for weary travelers and a refuge to the nearby Salish and settlers from marauding Blackfeet Indians. While America’s history and culture has changed dramatically in the last 170+ years, the passions and innovations first begun by the Owens have not. The Fort Owen still serves as an historical respite for travelers, and the Fort Owen Ranch continues its agricultural heritage, adding innovation and now inspiration to others.
The Summit Career Center is that inspiration. While our Career Center is new, it’s concept is not. Our curriculum is fashioned after a school called CrossPurpose in Denver, Colorado. In 2008, it’s founders, Jason Janz and Juan Pena, set out to learn what it really meant to “love our neighbor”. The result is an educational system which doesn’t just provide a topical education in which you think you might be good. It provides down-to-the-bone personal coaching, evaluation and training so you can find and develop your best gifts. So you can do your best and be the best–for you, your family and your community. The CrossPurpose model has been duplicated in other cities across the country including Memphis, Nashville, Norfolk VA and now Stevensville.
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