In Michigan, 6 percent of teens ages 16-19 are not attending school and are not high school graduates. Many of these children do not receive the support and encouragement they need from beyond the classroom to see themselves pursuing a career and advancing their education.
United 4 Change helps make that connection through mentorships and externships in cooperation with local businesses and volunteers.
Middle School Career Day
Experts agree that, in today's evolving job market, the best time to decide on a career path is in middle school. As part of the United 4 Change partnership, Middle School Career Day, held twice annually, exposes students to potential job fields of interest, develops their understanding of occupations and employers, and strengthens their perception of the value of education, graduation and post-secondary schooling or job training.
Middle School Mentorships
Mentoring students in middle school has been shown to be an effective way of increasing graduation rates, improving academic achievement and encouraging young people to pursue careers. Currently, United 4 Change has two mentoring programs focused on middle school students: School-Based Mentoring, in which employees from partner companies meet twice each month with assigned students; and Bigs in Business, in which students travel to local businesses to be mentored onsite.
High School Externships
Externships are an immersive learning experience targeting high school students. High schoolers spend one day at a local business or organization within their identified career pathway: Health Sciences, Human Services, Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology, Business, Management, and Marketing and Technology. United 4 Change partners help support two externship days annually, exposing students to careers and increasing the perceived value of education, graduation and post-secondary schooling or job training.