Young people have a powerful sense of their own agency and they need help to build relationships that matter.
Young people know they need support and relationships to achieve their future career and life goals. Adults who support young people need to create a more collaborative, integrated approach to helping young people navigate their career pathways.
Connect People: Helping Young People Develop Supportive RelationshipsThe first part of the idea behind connect people reflects the widespread understanding among educational and youth development experts that quality relationships and support are critical to helping young people achieve career success; there is also widespread understanding that due to systemic barriers, Black and Latino young people and young people experiencing poverty have less access to these relationships and support than other young people. Equitable Futures and its partners, like the Christensen Institute and the Search Institute, have created research and tools to help programs supporting young people to understand what supportive relationships — also called “social capital” — look like, how to foster them, and how to measure the depth and breadth of a young person’s network of relationships.
A high school drama student rehearses a scene while his instructor looks on.
Connect People: Across SystemsConnect people also refers to the connections and collaborations that need to happen between the people who work in the organizations and institutions that support young people through their education-to-career pathways. These professionals can include: education policymakers, child development experts, preschool, K-12 professionals, post-secondary professionals (colleges, technical, and vocational training schools), youth development program staff, and intermediary organizations. Centering young people’s experiences and voices would help inform a more collaborative, integrated approach to helping students navigate critical transitions throughout their pathways.
A middle school teacher listens during a team planning session.
Designing Pathways with Young People
Center the emotional and lived experiences of young people in programmatic approaches to designing or influencing career pathways.