United Way event gives ninth-graders a leg up on their futures

Monday, November 13, 2017

DETROIT — Nov. 13, 2017 — Nearly 2,000 students from 24 Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) schools are registered to attend United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s first-ever Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair. Organized specifically for high school freshmen to set them on a path toward success long before they reach 12th grade, United Way is hosting the event as part of its College and Career Pathways (CCP) initiative currently in place at 16 DPSCD high schools. The Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair takes place on Friday, Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. 

United Way’s Career Exploration Fair will include breakout sessions; a social media lab to help students develop their personal brands; and vendor booths with representatives from more than 50 corporate partners and universities including Deloitte, DTE, PricewaterhouseCoopers, TechTown, Oakland University, University of Detroit Mercy, and Western University. The students will receive breakfast, lunch and snacks, as well as opportunities throughout the day to win raffles prizes. Special guest DJ Dr. Darrius of FM 98 WJLB will also be on site, and every student will receive a personalized certificate of participation. Moreover, business and industry professionals will experience a new way of connecting and engaging with students.

Since 2008, United Way has worked with area high schools to help prepare students for life beyond graduation. Working in partnership with DPSCD educators, the organization’s CCP initiative offers students rigorous academics, exposure to career awareness activities like the Career Exploration Fair, college preparation courses and internship placement to secure a marketable certification and college credit before graduation. United Way is working to expand its CCP initiative so that even more children may benefit.

“Our College and Career Pathways initiative aims to improve education attainment and workforce readiness in Detroit and beyond,” says Dr. Herman Gray, president and CEO, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Through our relationships with corporate partners along with DPSCD and the mayor’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent, we are creating a new day in the city for students to better ensure the diploma opens doors for them when they leave high school.”

The Linked Learning model is the core of United Way’s College and Career Pathways work. Developed by ConnectEd in California in 2006 and initially implemented in 63 districts across the state in 2014, including Detroit, the evidence-based model brought college and career pathways to eight schools. As the cohort grew, United Way incubated the Linked Learning approach and connected it to its high school turnaround work, which has now transitioned into the organization’s core education work known as College and Career Pathways.

Find Your Future: Career Exploration Fair is made possible in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District, DTE Energy, The Social Media Association of Michigan, and local corporations, colleges and universities. To check out the day’s schedule, visit https://findyourfuture.wixsite.com/findyourfuture/schedule. For more information for United Way for Southeastern Michigan, visit UnitedWaySEM.org

# # #

About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy and its annual campaign. United Way is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around Health, Education, and Economic Prosperity. For more information, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.