By Olivia Cruz





We Should Expand Middle and High Schoolers’ Worlds through Career Exploration, Especially Now

American Student Assistance at SXSW Online 2021

Have you talked to a teenager lately?    At American Student Assistance (ASA), we listen to middle and high schoolers every day. And they have so much to say. At a time when they should be exploring the world and finding their place in it, many are isolated and uncertain in the midst of COVID-19. They’re being asked to make decisions about their futures when most of us cannot predict what next month will look like.   But the happy truth is they don’t have to figure out life alone.

In schools, innovation abounds as educators connect students to the world of work, using their classrooms to build new foundational skills needed to succeed. Still, middle and high school students need support outside of their classrooms, so they can chart their own education and career pathways. To do this, they need access to mentors, internships, career exploration, and more.

Higher education is still an important and worthwhile endeavor, but traditional four-year college, once considered the path to a successful career, isn’t the only way. Employers are shifting too, from a pedigree-based to a skills-based hiring approach.

Today’s students are resilient and they’re deserving of bright futures. Let’s help them get there.

Image courtesy of American Student Assistance

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