It has become clear that people are confused. They seem to be confused about what we do and why we are doing it. That is completely understandable considering the fact that Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) has been evolving on a regular basis since its inception. I bet you didn't know that BB2C evolved out of another grass-roots effort called the Teen Career Awareness Initiative. Throughout all of our changing, evolving, growing, program building, making improvements, etc., one thing has remained the same......we are still working to bridge the gap between education and employment. So, in case you don't read the whole blog....I am inviting you to attend our Community Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 4:30. Sometimes it is easier to explain all of this in person. Then you can ask questions...
The heart of our mission statement says that we will "develop and facilitate community networks".
Why are we doing this? Because we want to provide youth multiple experiences in a wide-variety of career fields before they have to make a decision, and so we can increase their chances of success. Also, because local employers want to connect with their future workforce so that they can show students what their organizations are all about before they have to make a decision. Community networks that include local businesses, governmental organizations, schools, and any other types of organizations that employ people are used to make these experiences real!
How are we doing this? Let me count the ways....
- We provide job shadowing and internship placements for high school students and in order to do this we have to connect local businesses to the schools, students, and parents. This is accomplished through networking in a wide-variety of circles.
- Getting to students earlier than high school is important because decisions made in middle school affect high school and what occurs after graduation. Our Career Mentor program targets middle school students, and for this to occur we have to connect community adults to schools and students. Again, networking in a wide variety of circles...
- Teachers are the gateway to students in schools. They are not career counselors, therefore they do not know all there is to know about careers locally or globally. Therefore, we work to create networks that connect teachers to local businesses so that we can increase the amount of in-class career experiences that include community adults from various careers. This is the basis of the Real-World Problem Scenario Project and the other networking events that we plan. These community networks include teachers and locally employed adults.
- Family Career Awareness Day, which is coming up on October 19, gets the parents involved. We have years of data that say students' career decisions are impacted the most by: #1 personal experience, and #2 and #3, mom and dad. This event is purposely designed to have parents and children hear career information straight from the horse's mouth. They walk around together and talk with local employers about they types of jobs in our area, and what path needs to be taken to get those jobs. Community networks, indeed.
- Then there is the Epicenter project....probably the most confusing of all of our endeavors. Once this project grows up to be an adult, it will be the ultimate way to "develop and facilitate community networks". Imagine a single location that invites everyone in the surrounding area (yes, even across the river....) to participate. We are creating a "Youth and Entrepreneurial Development Center". You are just going to have to click through to the webpage for a further explanation...click here. Blogs are supposed to be short.
In conclusion, the projects of BB2C address the various facets of the community in order to engage them in youth, community, and economic development. Through the connections that are made and the information that we provide we are able to help our students experience success and our communities to prosper. Successful Students, Prosperous Communities!
Now that you have read the whole blog....I am again inviting you to attend our Community Meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 4:30. It is easier to clear up confusion in person.
The BB2C Community meeting will take place in the Community Building in Lookout Park on Lancaster Street on Harmar Hill.