Explore and Connect: Northeast Indiana Students Discuss Their Career Pathways

By: Sierra Rush on February 3rd, 2021

Northeast Indiana Organizations Partner to Provide Career Resources to Students

“What am I good at and how do I get paid for it?” That’s the burning question that Northeast Indiana organizations are working together to help students answer.

Ivy Tech Fort Wayne, Junior Achievement of Northeast Indiana, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and Region 8 Education Service Center, together through the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation, aligned resources to guide students grades 6-12, as well as students in the first two years of post-secondary school, through their career planning journey. Through the collaborative work of our organization, these regional leaders are investing in Northeast Indiana's talent pipeline and working toward the region's Vision 2030 goal of increasing post-secondary education and credential attainment to over 60 percent by 2030.

Earlier in 2020, we launched a website with regional resources for talent development and solutions for students, parents and educators to adjust to a digital environment during a pandemic. With various touchpoints, these organizations have been working together to help students engage in experiences, develop skills and realize opportunities that allow them to turn their talents into meaningful careers.

While collectively we’ve created more than 100,000 student interactions supporting career exploration and connection over the last 18 months, we wanted to take a deeper look at the impact of individual students.

Via Zoom, we interviewed students from various backgrounds and asked them to walk us through the stages of their own path of discovering what they are good at and how they can get paid for it.

Get to Know Northeast Indiana Students

Lis, a junior at Snider High School, reminisces on her classroom experience with Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana when she started noticing a habit of gravitating toward the medical field. With an interest in the medical field and a passion for helping people, Lis decided to pursue nursing.

Using Snider's online tools during the pandemic, she enrolled in Ivy Tech's CHOICES program, allowing her to gain experience in her chosen field while in high school.

Lis plans to continue a career in nursing, but these experiences are critical in discovering both what students like and dislike, allowing them to change course if necessary.

We also learn the story of MaKayla, a Junior at Homestead High School, who already has her CNA license and is gaining hands-on real-world experience. Sam, a graduate of Heritage High School, was able to start his career in Firefighting and EMS almost immediately after high school. 

Using a best practice model called ASK, we asked students to explore the following topics during their career path journey.

  • Know — discover personal strengths and talents
  • Connect — connect their skills with career pathways
  • Select — understand what post-secondary schooling or training is necessary
  • Invest — prepare for the cost of credential attainment or training
  • Go — attain the credentials necessary to pursue their chosen career

Through the collaborative work of our organizations, our region’s future talent is able to connect their unique skills and interests with meaningful careers.

To see for yourself how Lis, MaKayla and Sam discover their talents and their plan to connect those skills with meaningful career opportunities, visit www.schwabpartnership.com.

Learn More About Our Partners

About the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation 
The Dream of Olin B. Schwab was that no person be deprived of an opportunity to recognize and realize his/her talents and potential career opportunities. During his lifetime, Mr. Schwab pointed out that people who like their work would probably be truly successful in that career. In 1989, he created the Olin B. and Desta Schwab Foundation with the mission to identify and support non-profit organizations that provide programs that promote and prepare young people to make informed educational and career decisions. The Foundation leadership is dedicated to keeping Mr. Schwab vision alive.    

About Ivy Tech Fort Wayne 
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. 

About Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana 
Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana serves over 140,000 pre-kindergarten through high school students in 30 northern Indiana and Michiana counties and into Van Wert County Ohio each year. Junior Achievement is dedicated to educating and inspiring young people to succeed in a global economy. Partnering with more than 4,760 educators and 6,500 positive adult role models who volunteer their time, JA’s in-school, JA BizTown, and JA Finance Park economic education programs focus on three key content areas: work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy. These experiences empower young people to own their future economic success. 

About Region 8 Education Service Center 
Region 8 Education Service Center is a regional cooperative formed by local school corporations to offer educational services that can be provided more effectively and efficiently on a cooperative basis than on an individual basis. Region 8 supplements educational services available in the local school districts, supports activities provided within the local school districts, better equalizes educational opportunities and costs for all students, and provides a single voice on education-related issues for all of Northeast Indiana Schools. 

Categories & Tags Talent