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Engaging Community Organizations in Youth Future Planning

Youth bring various personal and cultural assets into the classroom, but these are often underused in education settings. Community organizations have a deeper understanding of the cultural and community contexts and can provide support that maximizes what youth already possess and ensures they bring in their wholeselves.

Sociedad Latina is a community-based youth serving organization in Boston and has been collaborating with the BU Center for Future Readiness in designing, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based network science and career development curriculum. The collaboration, funded by the National Science Foundation, aims to build STEM career identity among Latinx middle school youth in the Boston area. If you are curious about the evidence-based strategies we used over the last two years to promote youth engagement in STEM learning, check out this brief summary that describes some of the critical elements that also reflect youth voices. In this podcast (Episode 4: Creating Impact Through Community and Culture), Sociedad Latina’s Executive Director Alexandra Oliver-Davila also discusses how a community organization and culture can play a critical role in youth career development.

In another podcast (Episode 3: Enabling youth to Become Future Ready), Drs. Orrin White and V. Scott Solberg talk about the role of community organizations in helping younger students start early with their future planning, as opposed to career planning, and how to re-engage youth during out-of-school time and when they are unmotivated and disengaged. It is clear that community organizations can provide support in youth’s future planning.

As a network-based organization, Flare Education collaborates with local companies, community organizations, and schools to provide internship opportunities to underserved high school youth. Their 12-month internship program is designed to show the youth all the possibilities before college while helping the youth understand themselves better, building basic workplace skills, and providing opportunities to network with industry leaders. Check out this short video to learn more about the work of Flare Education.

If you want to know what it is like working with a community organization and youth, we have also interviewed two STEAM team coordinators at Sociedad Latina – Paola Diplan and Veronica Reeder – who talk about their work with youth, as well as their career journeys.

The CCD Center is an industry-led non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on making career readiness the number one education priority in America.

The BU Center for Future Readiness is internationally and nationally recognized for supporting the design, implementation, and evaluation of equitable and responsive career readiness programs and services.


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