This year the Youth-Led Tech program developed targeted Career Days and a Career Development Day. These two programs were designed and integrated into the 6-week technology curriculum to introduce youth to careers both technical and non technical, as well as assist them in beginning to think more strategically and concretely about how to secure employment.
The Youth-Led curriculum is fluid enough to allow for the inclusion of speakers three times during the six-week program and a full day with Dr. Phyllis West, PhD. Students were visited by several local professionals who shared their stories at each site in the community they selected.
Our Roseland Community sites were visited by Jeffrey Beckham the owner of Black Box Creative during the first Career Day held July 7, 2016.
Jazelle Smith rounded out the first wave of entrepreneurs for the first Career Day.
The second and third Career Days were held July 21st and July 28th.
The second component to the workforce readiness program, “How to Develop a Career Plan 101” with Dr. Phyllis West, PhD focused on “developing a personalized career plan and an overview of strategies of successful people.” The workshop introduced students to the fundamentals of career planning, helped identify their interests and career goals and learn the trends of the fastest growing careers in America.
Robert Friedman started the presentation off my talking about what the HIVE learning network is.
Over the last five years, Hive Chicago has emerged as a thriving network of 57 local member organizations across the city of Chicago – joined by dozens of local, national and international collaborating partners – to motivate, inspire and support Connected Learning experiences for thousands of young people who go to the museums, nonprofits, and cultural institutions that make up the network. Open Gov Hack night attendees will recognize Blue 1647, Civic Artworks, and Open Books— some of the members of Hive.
Connected Learning is an educational approach designed to make learning relevant to all populations, to real life and real work, and to the realities of the digital age, where the demand for learning never stops.
Friedman mentioned six moonshots that the Hive Chicago is currently aiming for. These include: Making connections between the Hive and CPS parents, youth engagement, building onramps to connected learning, transportation and a think tank.
“I thought programmers were silent, awkward guys who sat in dark rooms and did nothing every day but write programs magically,” says Mickey Sharp, a junior at Lincoln Park High School. She was also part of Mikva Challenge’s summer program.
But after hearing guest lectures from tech entrepeneurs and professional programmers, Sharp learned about the people who create the web sites she visits every day.
“Now I know there are scripts you learn how to write to create these web pages,” she says. “It isn’t limited to a guy in a dark room playing Dungeons and Dragons…Now being a programmer seems like something I can do.”
Chicago High School for the Arts senior Kumari Mason was most impressed by several programmers leading the technology operations of President Obama’s re-election campaign.
“They had these piercings and they looked like real people. I thought they would have suits or something,” says Mason, who was also part of Free Spirit Media’s summer program. “I never thought they’d be working for President Obama.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we get up in the morning.
This summer, Mikva Challenge and Smart Chicago Collaborative worked with a group of 140 kids and trained them to use the latest digital tools to organize themselves, amplify their voice, and take positive civic action. On the Mikva side, the work was divided into four different youth councils.