Youth Perspectives 2018: Building a Future for High School Graduates

On November 27th, CDI held our second Youth Perspectives forum at Goldman Sachs on how best to prepare students for life after high school. This built on our first Youth Perspectives event in 2015 that focused on the need for integrated college & career preparation in high school. CDI Executive Director Michael Roberts said “Students in the 21st century have a range of educational options to help them develop their career pathways. It’s important that we expose them to those opportunities before they leave high school.”

Alexander Ginorio discusses his experience in the EMT training program at the CDI Career Academy.

In preparation for the day, CDI had over 300 students across our network participate in a career interest survey, and City-As-School student Mira French produced a video focused on finding out what students know about post-secondary training and education options. Click here to see what they had to say!

The event kicked off with a keynote address from Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer emphasizing the importance of educating students on alternative pathways. Students from CDI’s three partner schools and the CDI Career Academy spoke to an audience that included educators, foundation leaders, policymakers, politicians and community based organizations.

Responders from key government agencies and educational institutions including the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office, the NYC Department of Education and the City University of New York listened and replied to the student panel. The conversation ranged from discussing the perceived stigma that young people who choose to enter the workforce after high school face, to the pressure many of our immigrant students face on being the first in their families to go to college, to suggesting a “life class” that focuses on social skills and preparing students on how to be young adults after high school. The responders all agreed agreed that this dialogue needs to continue to help drive policy and program development at the high school level.

CDI has been leading the way over the past three years in expanding options for high school graduates, from creating the Career Academy that provides Medical Assistant and EMT training, to providing internships, to promoting civil service jobs like the post office and fire department. We know however, that more needs to be done at the high school level to further provide options to the young people we serve and we look forward to doing so in 2019 and beyond.

From L to R: Angel Roman from NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, Tim Lisante, Executive Superintendent for Transfer Schools, District 79, Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, and Seung Yu (pictured with microphone) Executive Director, Office of Post-Secondary Readiness at NYC DOE.

Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow

CDI’s 2018 Annual Brochure is out now!

Click the image above to read inspiring stories of our students and programs from over the last year.

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Without the support of each and every one of our individual donors, the stories you read about and the programs that make an impact in the lives of our young people would not be possible. Click here to make a contribution to CDI today!