Spotlight on the Vantage (Public Policy)

Brayden Diethelm, Copy Editor

Minnetonka High School offers many beneficial academic experiences, including the VANTAGE program. VANTAGE is a unique opportunity for upperclassmen to experience the professional world before being thrown in headfirst after graduation. There are many different VANTAGE strands, such as Business Analytics, Design and Marketing, Digital Journalism, Global Business, Global Sustainability, Health Sciences, Public Policy, and UX Design. Each strand requires two advanced classes, collaborative projects with peers and businesses and relationship-building between students and mentors. Students dress in professional attire, spend part of each day off campus and get involved in the real world.

In short, VANTAGE is unlike any other high school class students may have taken in their previous years at MHS.  

According to Marie Zissis, ‘23, a student in VANTAGE’s new Public Policy strand, the program’s uniqueness is what makes it beneficial. 

“I remember during my first couple years here seeing kids walking around in suits,and nice clothes, and I remember just being really impressed,” said Zissis, “and I think that’s one of the best things VANTAGE gives you is that confidence.” 

“This program certainly helps kids become more confident, calm, and poised,” said Public Policy teacher Leah Dasovich. “We definitely see kids become more confident when they do VANTAGE, especially with public speaking. Public speaking is so important and not many kids know how to do it when they graduate high school.”

  In addition to public speaking, VANTAGE helps students develop other important life skills like time management and teamwork, and the program appeals to students for a variety of reasons.


“Students are treated more like adults in VANTAGE, and that’s appealing to kids because it gives them more freedom,” said Dasovich. “Overall, they are just given more responsibility, they have to be planning things out with other students and keeping track of their assignments. It helps students mature.” 

Adding to Dasovich’s comments, Zissis said that “VANTAGE helps kids grow. We’re learning to communicate respectfully, and to think outside the box.”

VANTAGE comes with many benefits and helps kids become well-rounded adults. However, the program is not for everybody. When asked what qualities tend to create good VANTAGE students, Dasovich replied that the biggest prerequisite is curiosity. 

“You have to like school, you have to be curious and ready to learn. If you don’t like school and you think VANTAGE will help with that, it won’t,” she said. “Don’t do VANTAGE just because you think you should…Only do it if it interests and excites you.” 

VANTAGE is a wonderful opportunity that very few high school students are given and, if the program sounds appealing, talk to a counselor to learn more.