Having career goals can put young people on a path to success. The Cities of Service Path Finders Blueprint outlines ways to help middle schoolers develop career goals through a six-week afterschool program.
Without career goals, young people are less likely to pursue rigorous coureses, less motivated to achieve, and more likely to fall off track academically and behaviorally. Youth who are able to see a clear and transparent connection between their academic curriculum and tangible opportunities in the labor market are more likely to continue their education and make good choices about courses, extracurricular activities, and post-secondary education.
To ensure Path Finders' success, the mayor's office meets with the local Junior Achievement chapter to secure the It's My Future curriculum, convenes a Path Finders task force comprised of representatives from leading local employers and youth-serving organizations, and identifies afterschool providers and volunteers through local employers to implement the career-based programming.
Executing The Plan
Path Finders requires selecting and securing Junior Achievement program materials, creating a task force, identifying the youth who will receive career coaching, securing resources, and enlisting employers and their volunteers. Prior to the start of the first session, program coordinators should administer a pre-program survey to the youth so that it will be possible to determine if the program has an impact on their knowledge, plans, and attitudes.
The impact of the program should be assessed through the pre- and post-program surveys administered to the participants at the beginning and end of the program. Required metrics include number and percentage of youth who complete the program, change in career knowledge and personal goals identified, and number and percentage of students who report an increased desire to graduate.