An especially creative aspect of the Connecting Activities initiative is its role of bringing together a variety of people - youth, employers, school personnel, parents, and community organizations. In a successful program, a positive synergy develops, and each aspect of programming reinforces the others. At any of our statewide or regional conferences or meetings, we hear success stories about ways that Connecting Activities staff and others have worked to set creative partnerships in motion in their communities.
Success stories may be very specific -- the parent of a student in your program volunteers to be a career speaker; a career speaker decides to offer a summer job or internship; a student intern makes a visible and positive contribution to a local community organization. Success stories may be community-wide -- the community mobilizes for a fundraiser or a summer jobs campaign or to open a new youth career center; a school organizes a school-wide strategy to raise graduation rates; an employer group makes a commitment to mentoring students in its community.
In successful programs, participating youth are energized by their experiences. Youth develop new skills, gain valuable experiences, and see new connections between the work they are doing in school and their future careers. Through school, workplace and community activiites, they start to envision future career and educational paths and have confidence in their first steps toward career development.
Through our "Getting Started" professional development outline, we share articles and resources about the following professional development topics:
- Youth Development Concepts
- Employer Engagement
- Raising Graduation Rates
- Equity and Outreach
- Marketing and Messaging for Youth Employment Programs