It can be difficult to understand why one should be concerned with finishing high school when there is no clear vision of what lies beyond. With funding from the Future Skills Centre, Douglas College Training Group, the Burnaby Board of Trade, and PEERS Employment & Educational Resources are researching whether “hope-centred” career development can nudge students to further their education and career options. Young people who do not finish high school are more likely not to find jobs and become dependent on government support. This intervention is intended to add a layer of support to catch these young people before they fall through the cracks.
Meet Youth Where They’re At
Reboot Plus meets youth where they are and is guided by what drives them. It plays to their strengths and personality and offers an inside look at post-secondary and career options. Reboot Plus helps youth move forward by exploring education, careers, and jobs that they are interested in. Youth learn about themselves, their personality, and their skills. They find out about and prepare for the training and education needed to get to the career they want. The program requires students to meet with people who work in the jobs and fields that interest and excite them.
The program has just wrapped up it’s first cycle. By all accounts, it has been more successful than imagined. One student shared his experience about the program and the value it had for him.
“I have been out of school for quite a while, but I’m on my way to graduation. I wasn’t really motivated to consider my career or my future. I imagine a lot of people taking this program have difficulty with school have struggled in one way or another, but everyone involved in this program was very understanding of my situation and provided the support that I needed. They made me feel comfortable.
Assess Their Interests and Aptitudes
I began by taking assessments on my interests and aptitudes. I was surprised to find a lot of them pointed me towards technology-oriented careers. This opened my eyes to career options that I hadn’t really given thought to. After the assessments were complete, I researched a variety of jobs and careers that I wanted to learn more about, and then I started meeting with professionals for informational interviews.
Connect Them With Professionals
The informational interviews really helped. I was able to ask my own questions, rather than read through online information. It was very insightful. I did interview some technology professionals and determined this was not the path for me. I interviewed counsellors and psychologists and really felt this is where I belong. I was able to talk to people who work in this area and learn more about the path I’m required to take to have a career in this area. The professionals that I spoke with me shared their experiences of a typical workday, as well as a cautioned me to be able to step away from work fully at the end of the day to avoid risk of burnout.
Examine Education Options
After Reboot plus, I should be getting credit for the last course I need for my high school diploma. I plan to apply to Douglas College to start my post-secondary education. I want to start with taking sciences, and then I’m planning to transfer to UBC or SFU. I feel excited about my education and I’m really grateful for the experiences of this program.”
This program has provided youth with resilience, perseverance, strength, and courage. It has connected them to professionals who become inspired by their journeys and invested in their futures. The voluntary nature of the program has students eager and excited for their own future. With two more cycles of research, we know it’s going to grow in numbers, and in strength as both students and professionals share their experiences.