Young People’s Stories About Their Career Pathways
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.
- I can change my life
- My identity will help me succeed
- I want to have a good life, and a good job is key
- I know I might need support, but I’m not sure how to get it
- 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.
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.
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.