Supporting youth as they identify a career direction
Adolescence and early adulthood are exciting and challenging years, a time in which youth explore their identity and begin thinking about plans for their future. Parents, guardians, and other caring adults play a critical role in supporting youth through this exploration process. There are many ways that you can guide youth in identifying experiential learning opportunities that will help them make informed decisions about their future. Youth should be encouraged to develop their interests and enhance their skills by “living their learning,” selecting a variety of activities outside the classroom to complement their coursework.
How Caring Adults Can Help
- Recommend that your student meet with a counselor or other supportive adult at their school to create an experiential learning plan to complement their academics.
- Encourage your student to spend time each semester becoming “occupationally literate” by exploring a variety of career fields through books and internet resources, informational interviewing, job shadowing and mentoring experiences.
- Emphasize the importance of experiential learning — learning through internships, community service and volunteering, leadership roles, and career-related activities. Check out the Youth Future website to see which programs and activities might best match your young person’s interests and goals.
How the School Counselors, TORCH advisors, and the Youth Future Coordinator Can Help
We use the Naviance to help students assess their career interests and create a plan for exploring those interests.
We invite alumni and local professionals to present career information to students through a variety of career panels and forums each year. Students are notified of these events through Schoology.
We share alumni and community member connections, people who youth may contact for informational interviewing and job shadowing.
We work with local employers to promote internships, and we support students as they prepare for an internship experience. No matter where they are in the process of identifying internship and related opportunities, students will find resources and encouragement from staff in the school counseling, TORCH, and Youth Future offices.