How Can Today Help My Future Path?



Children and teens will soon be jumping for joy, anxious for the completion of another school year, and the quick acceptance of rising to a new grade. The term “rising” synonymous to “upcoming” opens the door to new opportunities, interests, and skills.  Whether you are a rising middle school or high school student, summer can brighten your strengths and goals.  Every experience is instrumental in not only finding your future path, but perhaps a career, too!

How often has an adult asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answer may connect to an exciting field of heroics and aiding communities, such as that of a police officer, firefighter, soldier, or pilot. Have you wondered whether these dreams and goals would well match your personality or interests?  Whether you are in elementary or middle school, or a rising high school student, this is the perfect time to discover more about your future goals.

Engage in Conversation with Professionals

Start asking family members about their career choices post-high school. Eyes may sparkle in the request for a personal story.  While learning about opportunities to accept apprenticeships or attend college, joining the military, or starting a family business, pay attention to the pride and passion of each person who shares his or her experiences.  By listening, you may hear common themes, such as a strong work ethic, long-term relationships, and hard work equated with feeling successful!

Electives and Extra-Curricular Activities

Perhaps you are a gifted artist or a naturally talented athlete; the opportunity to take a class, whether it is an extra-curricular activity or elective, provides you exposure to learn something new.  Consider electives in mechanical drawing, basic mechanics class, or delve into the study of coding and robotics.  You may discover a love for a new discipline.  Exposure to new ideas is the first step to broadening your horizons.  Go for it!

High-Tech Interests? 

If you love the field of math and science, there are a variety of possibilities to match your interests.  Start a club, or join a math, science, engineering, or computer club at school. You’ll meet new friends who also share a love of computer games, mechanics, and engineering.  Grab a friend and start visiting science centers or register for a science-related summer camp.

Take a Career Interest Test

Wondering if the field of information technology, construction and design, or carpentry is the right field for you?  Then, consider taking a career interest test.   Through questions relating to your personality, interests, and goals, it will reveal a listing of careers which may well suit your skill sets.  For instance, you may enjoy the great outdoors and traveling or talking to groups of people while planning and presenting information.  Once you take a career-interest test, a list of well-matched and unknown (to you) career options could open your eyes to new classes, hobbies, and establish a set of realistic goals.

Junior Reserves Officer Training Course

The US Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), is one of the most extensive youth programs focused on character development and citizenship in the world.  Through the program, trained and qualified Army retirees instruct uniformed Cadets on life skills such as citizenship and history, land navigation and geography, wellness, fitness and first aid, financial and career planning, conflict resolution, and leadership.  Beyond letting you wearing a uniform, JROTC provides each member the opportunity to consider if military service is the right option.  Find out if your school has a program!

Career Technical Education

In the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, starting in the sixth grade, students have the opportunity to learn about technology and engineering, family and consumer science, or business education as an elective.  The field of study narrows as teens enter high school and they can then choose to pursue classes in health science, marketing, finance, business, or from a list of 20 different trades.  From the introduction into the wide-world of technical careers, students graduate with a plan to further their education at a trade school, college, or join the military.

Finding the right direction towards a rewarding and bright future begins today.  Find ways to say “Yes” to great opportunities!


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