Vital Link OC and Saddleback College teamed up together to host our first online summer event entitled 2020 Saddleback College Leadership NEXT Academy. This career exploration academy was full of workshops and fun activities to prepare students for what comes after high school. Students learned how to navigate through exciting possibilities and finding their personal schools. The week continued with exploration of their future career path and experience potential opportunities by speaking with industry professionals. The academy ended with students, like Kayln Nishida, prepared with interview skills and a proper résumé for life in college and stepping into their career path.
The academy started with students working on self-motivational communication skills with personal “I Am” sentences. This activity provides to students with self-awareness and imagining their vision and ideas for their futures. “Find Your Strengths” was the highlight of the first day, allowing the attendees to test themselves and discover hidden skills and techniques. After determining their skill sets, the second day was focused on career exploration by matching their skills to their first interesting career choice. Their career choices led to the exploration of “Making Money Choices” and learning how to budget.
Day three of the academy was an eye opener; students focused on the “Self-Awareness Challenge” which taught them to push through any of life’s hurdles. The day continued with “Order Up;” a team building and communication activity. The next day continued with experience “The Employer’s Perspective,” led by the inspirational speaker Wendy Massey. The encouragement for students to understand the value of a career and the importance of professionalism taught them to understand “Who Stacks Up?” The attendees were able to build a proper résumé and understand how to meet the needs of job postings that companies use for hiring entry level employees. Their résumés were used during the “Mock Group Interview Activity;” an open discussion activity of an interview simulation where the students had to answer the company representative as if they were in an actual interview.
After meeting industry professionals during the final day of the academy, students can the chance to ask detail questions in regards to the necessary education and certifications needed for their potential career. The industry professionals provided personal insight on the requirements and goals that are needed for young adults to be successful. Completing this summer academy provided high school students to be prosperous by planning their goals, determining what is needed for college, and receive the proper tools necessary for interviews.