Getting Started

Read: “Youth Development Concepts”

Read: “Synergy and Employer Outreach”

Read: "Raising Graduation Rates"

Read: "College and Career Planning"

If you are new to Connecting Activities, visit schools in your region with another staff person in order to meet school-based staff and see and hear about key programs in the school.

As a follow-up:

  • With a colleague, write an answer to the following: “In 45 seconds or less, describe what your program offers to employers and youth and schools.”
  • With a colleague, list 2-3 ways that your region’s Connecting Activities program provides “asset-based” programming.
  • With a colleague, list 2-3 things that employers in your community find attractive about Connecting Activities programming.
  • With a colleague, list 2-3 ways that schools benefit from Connecting Activities programming.

To learn more:

1.) Continue reading the links and articles in this section. 

2.) Investigate local initiatives in your school and community: what are some of the current local initiatives to support youth, raise graduation rates, and support college and career readiness?

3.) Look for workshops or classes on the topics of interest - youth development, employer outreach, career development, marketing, social media, dropout prevention, or other topics.

The most creative aspect of the work of staff in a youth program is the role of bringing together a variety of people - youth, employers, school personnel, parents, and community organizations.  In a successful program, a positive synergy develops, and each aspect of programming reinforces the others.  At any of our statewide or regional conferences or meetings, we hear success stories about ways that Connecting Activities staff and others have worked to set creative partnerships in motion in their communities.

Success stories may be very specific -- the parent of a student in your program volunteers to be a career speaker; a career speaker decides to offer a summer job or internship; a student intern makes a visible and positive contribution to a local community organization.  Success stories may be community-wide -- the community mobilizes for a fundraiser or a summer jobs campaign or to open a new youth career center; a school organizes a school-wide strategy to raise gradaution rates; an employer group makes a commitment to mentoring students in your community.  

 In successful programs, participating youth are energized by their experiences.  Youth develop new skills, gain valuable experiences, and see new connections between the work they are doing in school and their future careers.  Through school, workplace and community activiites, they start to envision future career and educational paths and have confidence in their first steps toward career development. 

This section of the website provides links related to:

  • Youth development concepts
  • Employer partnerships
  • Connecting witih school and community initiatives
  • Connecting with parents
  • Marketing, messaging and media