Independent Study and Mentorship (ISM) is a rigorous course that allows junior and senior high school students the opportunity to gain real world experience in a professional field of their choice. ISM students, over the course of the year, conduct informational interviews with professionals in their chosen field, and then carefully choose a mentor with whom to shadow and collaborate with for the remainder of the year. Through weekly mentor visits in addition to extensive research and observation, ISM students increase their knowledge of their chosen field of study and gain professional experience. At the end of their ISM year, students create a final presentation that compiles all of their information learned throughout the year. The ISM experience is incredibly beneficial to its participants, as it gives them a competitive edge as they make their way into the professional world and builds valuable communication skills.