Throughout the program, students will be prompted to explore their own interests, skills, and values as guiding questions of the career exploration and self-awareness process. Mentors play a key role in helping students pursue new opportunities based on their interests, values, and skills. Students will watch a series of short videos in various lessons across the high school program which have been compiled here to give mentors a clear sense of how and why these questions are used, as well as the key terms that will be used throughout the program.
These videos help introduce students to four key aspects that are explored over time:
Interests change rapidly and offer opportunities for learning. Our goal is to push students to take real steps to put their time and effort into their interests and to learn by doing. Students will also build investment in college as a further opportunity to continue exploring their interests after high school. To explore their interests, students:
- Identify interests to explore while in HS through extracurriculars
- Learn that interests + practice can become a passion
- Hear that it’s okay to pursue an interest and then decide it’s not for you
- Connect their interests to a post-secondary program
Values change slowly and serve as our compass. Students explore their values and learn how values can guide their choices. Naming their values is a critical step in self-awareness, and sharing those values with mentors will help pairs find summer activities, post-secondary pathways and select colleges and majors that are aligned to the student’s individual identity.
Skills are developed as we pursue our interests. Through various activities, students identify their own skills and use these to develop a resume. Students build a wide range of skills through the iMentor program, including communication, technical, cultural and project management skills. Pairs will work together on self-improvement projects in 9th and 10th grades that focus on building specific skills through deliberate practice.
Students start learning about the job market to focus on what they can get paid to do. In 11th grade, the career exploration themes meet the reality of labor markets as students begin to imagine careers that will make them happy while providing a salary to meet their lifestyle goals for the future. Students learn how higher education relates to earnings and employment to build investment in the economic value of a college degree.