When asked what her kids want to be when they grow up, Clearview KIDSTOP Program Manager Raquel Hoffman has said in the past her members have wanted to be a professional athlete, or a Youtube streamer. So when she was approached with the vision of CareerSTART, Raquel took the idea and ran with it. Taking great initiative, she reached out to parents, family and friends to pull together career exposure events for her members at Clearview. Having multiple speakers coming in over a few months began a process of exploration and examination into where their passions lie. Radio DJs, physical therapists, meteorologists, IT personnel, and health science professionals all volunteered their time to talk about what they enjoy about their careers and why they chose the direction they did. Consequently, after the pilot experience this spring, Clearview KIDSTOP members changed their goals to include aspirations of the many careers they were exposed to at KIDSTOP.
KIDSTOP provides an excellent platform for us to begin preparing our youth for a bright future. The CareerSTART model gives access and exposure to all of our youth at an early age, and is woven into everything we do at all 14 locations. It is more than just field trips and speakers, it is hands-on activities and intentional learning around soft skills and workforce readiness. That is why it has been so successful in the early stages of development, as building a better community is at the heart of the Boys & Girls Club’s mission.
As Raquel requests feedback from youth on career paths, it is very clear that what she has done is working wonders. The kids are finding passion in new, exciting areas that were not presented to them in the past. As we expand this initiative and grow on its success, we are excited about how it is being received by kids and parents alike. Through CareerSTART, our aspiring professional athletes and Youtube streamers will continue to expand their horizons and build the skills necessary to fulfill their dreams.