I think about how actions I take today will impact what happens in the future. It’s not something I try to do; it’s what my mind does naturally.
So even as Opportunity Education’s Quest Forward Learning program continues to help young learners acquire the academic essentials and skills they’ll need to tackle life’s challenges, my mind has been thinking about what happens next for these young people and how I can help them to succeed.
Some of these kids will go to college, or trade school, or the military, or find a job with further training opportunities. But whatever path they choose, I want Opportunity Education to take actions today that will help them succeed in their futures.
It’s from this thinking that Opportunity Education’s Pathways Program emerged. It’s a global program that supports students through high school, post-secondary education, and into their first career. (I say first career because, in the world today, people are likely to have more than one career.)
Finding a good, financially viable path in life is difficult, particularly for low-income students. Opportunity Education’s Pathways Program helps young people understand their options – including the cost-benefit of different choices – and to make a plan for when school is done. Most importantly, we make a commitment to provide support to these young people for 10 years from the beginning of high school.
The Pathways Program is being rolled out at Opportunity Education’s United States and Tanzanian locations. We recently held our first Career Day in Moshi, Tanzania with 91 high school students from Mtakuja Secondary School. Presenters included university representatives, government officials from the Tanzania vocational training authority (VETA), the National Council for Technical Education (NACTE), as well as school officials, teachers and Opportunity Education representatives. It was a full-day event with presentations on a wide range of paths that included things like psychology, veterinarian medicine, nursing, law, and immigration police.
While it’s early days for the Pathways Program, we already plan to hold two events like this annually in Tanzania. These will be supported by in-school advising through career clubs and individual support.
I want to see young people have every chance for success and for Opportunity Education to help them get started on their paths. It’s my hope that the Pathways Program will help them get started on their way.