Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Pursuit of Happiness = The Pursuit of a Job

EdPowerment’s family of students is getting older.  This year 4 young women graduated from Secondary “O” level schools and are now waiting National Form Four results that determine their future range of possibilities.  Next year, 8 more young men and women will graduate from “O” level secondary schools.

We hope most of our students score well enough on their National Form 4 exams to continue to Form 5&6 high school and then on to University.  Not all, however, will follow this path – and not all should.  For some, certificate and other programs may be better choices because the goal is ... A JOB.  And according to one set of recent statistics, only 40,000 of Tanzania’s 700,000 university graduates last year got a job!

So we need to prepare our students, not just to pass in the classroom, but to find jobs.  These are not youth with connections or money.  They are going to have to be creative, persistent, and even aggressive in seeking employment.  They will have to learn to use the Internet, to interview effectively, to dress properly, to be conversant in English, maybe even to go door-to-door.

To help our students navigate this set of challenges, we are piloting a program called THRIVE – one more element of sponsorships committed to preparing our students for life - not just for school.  

THRIVE is a work-study program intended to develop each post-secondary student’s ability to function independently.  Program components include:
  • ·      Guidance on educational alternatives suited to each student’s abilities and skill set.
  • ·      Life skills, health education, career counseling and other workshops
  • ·      Meetings with professionals to learn about and discuss employment opportunities and expectations
  • ·      Current event assignments that require the reading of newspapers and online reports.
  • ·      Computer and Internet training.
  • ·      Other reading (use of library) and “short courses” appropriate to the student.
  • ·      Community work assignments at the Kilimahewa Educational Centre and other venues.
  • ·      Research and other assignments on topics such as the cost of living and strategies for saving and budgeting.

THRIVE activities will take place during all post-secondary breaks as students advance through higher education studies until graduation/completion of the sponsorship program. Participation is a requirement for students to remain in our Tomorrow's Scholar-Leader sponsorship program.

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