Preparing young people for workforce and career opportunities today is challenging. Schools across the country are under the microscope to ensure students are ready for work as a result of their commitment and investment in education. Now, thanks to generous state and federal funding, career readiness may begin in middle school.
“Once in high school, these kids will have dual enrollment in community college, earning and learning their way through high school,” says Dr. James Smith, PhD. President of Youth Employment Solutions (YES). “Let’s get these kids excited, pump up their energy, and enable them to graduate faster from college with advanced degrees and guide them along self-sustaining career pathways.”
Illuminating a path for middle grade students to pursue their passions and talents through education and setting up a trajectory for lifelong success is the goal of The City School partnership, funded by the K12 Strong Workforce program. The City School, operated by City Charter Schools, and Exploring Your Potential (EYP) announce their collaboration in launching a program to bridge education to workforce in middle schools.
“We want to help students know themselves, understand the possibilities in their lives, feel excited and engaged by the school program, form a strong sense of community, and do what they love,” says Valerie Braimah, Executive Director for City Charter Schools. “Between outside speakers, career pathway courses, internships, and the Exploring Your Potential curriculum, we know our kids will emerge from 8th grade with big dreams, a clear sense of focus, and the ability to reach their most ambitious goals.”
Students have already getting a taste of what’s possible for their futures in a webinar series called Love What You Do! Guest speakers cover topics from entrepreneurship, fashion, sports, art, and music.
“Exploring the broadest range of possibilities is so important for students to maintain their motivation, especially as they form their sense of personal identity,” says Jennifer Kushell, global thought leader on youth employment and entrepreneurship and founder and CEO of EYP Ventures, creators of Exploring Your Potential. “Connecting the dots between their interests and abilities and real workplace opportunities, opens up so many options and builds self-efficacy so students become more excited about their futures, confident in their directions, and thus are more likely to stay in school, focused on goals that reach far beyond education.”
SOURCE Exploring Your Potential