Young People’s Stories About Their Career Pathways

Listening and learning from young people: Annotated video stories from Roadtrip Nation and Equitable Futures.

What is the resource?

Equitable Futures Striving to Thriving research shows that across age, race and gender, most young people believe that they can and will reach their future goals — goals that are as diverse as young people themselves. Differences lie in how well-prepared they feel to navigate the pathways to their goals. Equitable Futures’ Striving to Thriving research surfaced five core concepts that can help youth-serving professionals better understand how young people think about themselves and how they relate to their future education and career goals. 

  1. I can change my life
  2. My identity will help me succeed
  3. I want to have a good life, and a good job is key
  4. I know I might need support, but I’m not sure how to get it
  5. I am already on a pathway to my future

Why it matters

Young people’s voices matter. Their voices, their sense of agency, and how they view themselves needs to be centered in every space meant to serve them. Equipped with young people’s expertise, we can develop and deliver opportunities and resources that can support them to reach their goals and their own personal version of success.

What’s inside

In collaboration with Roadtrip Nation, Equitable Futures created a collection of videos which explores how young people are thinking about their future education and careers. In each video a student shares their personal experiences, aspirations, challenges and fears as they navigate their educational journey. We have annotated five of these videos with the Striving to Thriving core concepts in order to help youth-serving professionals to connect the dots between these individual testimonials  and insights gleaned from our research with nearly 7,000 young people.

Serena Edwards

Serena is a high school senior from Brooklyn, NY and an aspiring journalist. Learn more about Serena and how she found her voice.

Jorge Ramirez

Jorge is a freshman at California State University, Sacramento exploring a career in social work. Learn more about Jorge and how his lived experiences influence his career goals.

Shauna Salem

Shauna is a student at University of California, Santa Cruz and aspiring psychiatric nurse practitioner. Learn more about Shana and how she is finding out who she wants to be.

Christopher Suplice

Christopher is majoring in computer science and business and Northeastern University in Boston. Learn more about Chris and how his identity influences his future goals.

Yenifer Perez Romero

Yenifer is a first-generation American and high school senior in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. Learn more about Yenifer and how her family motivates her to keep going on her educational journey.

In April 2021, Roadtrip Nation launched Possible Dreams, Possible Paths, a student-facing website where high school students can hear about their peers’ college and career journeys and share their own for others to learn from. In this space, young people can review video playlists on topics like mental health, plans beyond high school, social issues, family and responsibilities — and start exploring a path of their own. For individuals and organizations who support young people along their education and career journeys, the site includes resources covering everything from supporting first-generation college students, to nurturing virtual connections in the classroom. It offers valuable insight into how young people are thinking and feeling — including the opportunities they see and the pressures they feel on issues of identity and activism. You can explore Possible Dreams, Possible Paths here.