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Steffan: YOU in the FUTURE connects young people with career possibilities

What did you want to be when you were 15 years old? 

Chances are you thought about jobs or careers like the ones you saw on TV, or jobs or careers you became familiar with through every day life and people you met.    

What would you be doing today if there had been a YOU in the FUTURE program back then that gave you insight into who you are – your talents, skills, interests and passion – and how to match those interests and traits with the world of career and job possibilities? What if you had had the opportunity to meet 25 local business leaders and learn about three to five jobs at each of their companies? After that, what if you had been able to visit the businesses you thought interested you the most to see what they were all about? Oh, the possibilities.

Those possibilities became realities on July 18 when high school students from the La Grange and Summit communities attended YOU in the FUTURE, a three-day career exploration and job shadow experience that provides students with information about, exposure to and experiences in a variety of career possibilities. The students were also given information about effective tools for success. Over 40 business leaders from small to large businesses presented and/or opened their hearts and their doors to the young participants. Sponsored by the Business and Education Council of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry, area community leaders and businesses partnered to make this a successful event. The LeaderShop, LADSE EmployAlliance and Frymark Floral Designs were the organizations on the planning committee for this event.  

Student comments after the job shadows included: "I loved seeing behind the scenes at jobs I didn’t know about," and, “it was a fun way to learn about careers that I do and don’t like.”

Business leaders also were amazed at the impact this program had on them.

“The interviewing process provides the students with a wonderful opportunity to interact and communicate with someone other than their peer groups. I am very impressed with their ability to articulate their thoughts and I enjoy seeing their minds working” said Phil Fornaro with Fornaro Law. Lindsey Drazdik said.

This year, the planning committee partnered with LTTV to film this event and hopes to have it available on The LeaderShop’s website in the fall to share this amazing program with area students  and their families, as well as with the community at large.

For more information, contact The LeaderShop at 579-5898.

Karen Steffan is a member of LADSE Employ Alliance

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