Teenagers on the Journey Toward Good Lives

What ought to adolescents do following high faculty?

With increasing college or university tuition expenditures and too much to handle scholar bank loan debt, there is a debate underway about no matter whether school or occupation education is the proper route for young people today who confront monetary obstacles and other problems.

But educators, policymakers and employers who are busy redesigning postsecondary selections don’t normally comprehend what adolescents really will need and want. If they listened, what would they understand?

The shorter response is: Youthful people today want a lot more than superior livelihoods. They want good lives.

That’s what EdSurge observed out by talking at size with nine numerous superior school pupils from all around the U.S. in 2021 about the lives they are operating toward and the choices they’re making to get there. Read through profiles, see portraits and listen to the voices of these pupils below.

Then continue to keep studying beneath to understand how these teenagers’ life have modified for the duration of the earlier year.

Dino Sabic

By Kathleen Greeson for EdSurge.

All through his senior calendar year of large faculty, Dino Sabic of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was feeling stressed about the pandemic and dissatisfied about his interrupted football seasons. He was looking at researching enterprise in college, acquiring started off to reconsider his former goal of doing the job in medication.

After graduating in spring 2021, Dino enrolled at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where by he now scientific studies. He also continues to work part-time at a logistics organization.

“I adore it so considerably!” Dino stories. “Awesome university and brilliant occupation!”

Vernell Cheneau III

By L. Kasimu Harris for EdSurge.

Budding businessman Vernell Cheneau III had made a decision against likely to college or university by the time he graduated from substantial faculty in spring 2021. In its place, the New Orleans resident was enthusiastic to start off a task in the human resources division of a Fortune 500 energy firm.

Vernell states he has been doing excellent do the job at Entergy at any time due to the fact. He is expecting a elevate soon and claims his supervisor requested that Vernell carry on to work in her office due to the fact he is these an “asset.”

In excess of the past year, Vernell has stopped his aspect business enterprise of reselling cell phone situations. Now he has a new organization: selling T-shirts via a website referred to as Villain Headquarters.

“Long story brief,” Vernell suggests, “life has been wonderful for me.”

Spencer Risenmay

By John Roark for EdSurge.

As a member of a farming family in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Spencer Risenmay planned to go after a university diploma in agribusiness to find out about the scientific improvements shaping agriculture. But in advance of enrolling in larger schooling, Spencer planned to complete a two-12 months mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-working day Saints.

Following graduating from substantial faculty in spring 2021, Spencer embarked on that church mission. He is currently serving in Ghana, in accordance to a person of his former teachers.

Efiotu Jagun

By Damola Akintunde for EdSurge.

With her potent math competencies, furthermore relatives users with science-concentrated professions, Efiotu Jagun at the time deemed finding out engineering in university. She even received a scholarship to Georgia Tech.

But by her senior yr of substantial faculty in Durham, North Carolina, she had realized that she wished to take a look at other passions and functions instead. She wondered whether or not it manufactured perception to enroll at the engineering powerhouse of a college.

Efiotu finished up commencing college or university at Georgia Tech, and she states, “It’s rather great so considerably!” She’s learning community plan and sociology there, in addition to participating in Ultimate Frisbee, starting a chapter of a college student-advocacy organization and interning at the Ga Common Assembly for the 2022 legislative session.

Princesa Ceballos

By Rod Thornburg for EdSurge.

College is continue to on the horizon for Princesa Ceballos, a busy significant faculty university student from Porterville, California, who divides her time taking part in tennis matches, boosting livestock, major clubs and carrying out neighborhood services.

Princesa claims she has been approved to four universities so much: California Condition University at Fresno, California State University at Chico, California Point out College at Pomona and University of California at Berkeley. Berkeley available to address most of her tuition, she states, as very well as invited her to be a Regents’ scholar. Right now Princesa hopes to examine agriculture and environmental plant sciences in get to turn into a pest control advisor.

In involving doing the job on school applications, she has lately relished touring past her town in the San Joaquin Valley. Not too long ago, Princesa stated that “I’m going to be in Sacramento for a convention all 7 days and I’m very enthusiastic about that.”

Maytee Guadiana

By Edward A. Ornelas for EdSurge.

Leading up to her high college graduation, Maytee Guadiana appeared forward to going to college, in purchase to keep on learning and to review to come to be a nurse. That was her career of selection for the reason that of the alternatives it would give her to aid many others.

But Maytee, who lives in San Antonio, also anxious about being able to finish faculty. Several years previously, her mom hadn’t been equipped to find the money for to entire her degree.

In the past calendar year, Maytee enrolled at Texas A&M University at San Antonio and suggests she’s being focused on university.

Kaiasia Williams

By Raven Greene of New Moon Visuals for EdSurge.

Despite her obvious career targets and tutorial accomplishment in higher university, Kaiasia Williams was concerned about heading to school. She questioned whether or not she could remain motivated, steer clear of procrastinating and continue to be confident in her qualities.

In spring 2021, Kaiasia turned the to start with man or woman in her spouse and children to graduate from large school. She has due to the fact began higher education at Clemson University, wherever she’s studying engineering. “College has me functioning in circles,” she stories.

To support get her there, Kaiasia acquired a $10,000 scholarship reward from a couple who also dwell in Charleston, South Carolina, as very well as a $20,000 CMiC-Allen Berg Memorial Scholarship from the Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Mentor Application of America.

“The scholarships I won was more than enough to get me as a result of the doorways,” Kaiasia suggests, “and I am certainly grateful.”

Alan Farfan

By Edward A. Ornelas for EdSurge.

When Alan Farfan believed in advance to everyday living after large college, he named job stability as a massive personalized precedence. And the college student from Austin, Texas, wasn’t confident that a college degree was the finest way to land a reputable career.

Alan is now a significant faculty junior taking some college-level courses, which include in UX Layout. This summer time, he strategies to intern at IBM. And according to a person of his teachers, Alan has started out operating at Whataburger, a position he is taking pleasure in.

Freddy Zepeda

By Gonzalo Guzman for EdSurge.

As a senior in higher university, Chicago pupil Freddy Zepeda hoped to come out of college all set to obtain a occupation that interests him and that helps him create the fantastic life that his spouse and children envisions.

Soon after graduating in 2021, he enrolled at the University of Illinois Chicago, wherever he is finding out earth and environmental science. He states he has been accomplishing very perfectly there. Thanks to credits Freddy acquired although dually enrolled in substantial school and neighborhood college, the college considers him to be a junior, and he has fulfilled numerous of the necessities for his major.

Freddy says he is now concentrating on making use of for summer season internships when maintaining up with his coursework.

What can we master from youngsters?

Adults creating new pathways by way of higher education or career-training programs require superior perception about exactly where young people finally want to finish up. That data arrives from listening to teens.

“You want to know, for starters, what a young person’s function pursuits are, what their function values are, what do they want to get out of perform?” suggests Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown College Heart on Education and the Workforce.

By listening to these 9 adolescents, EdSurge realized several essential lessons. Young people’s brains are wired for passion, function and experimentation. Even although some of them deal with considerable barriers to success following high college, they are likely to lean additional into their prospective than into their boundaries. They have faith in their people, pals and instructors to guidebook them. And some young people are skeptical about the benefit of university, but loads still see bigger training as the very best possibility for conference their goals.

These insights can assistance educators, policymakers and businesses greater layout plans for youthful folks.

“The much more engagement and possession youthful people today have in the full matter,” claims Allison Gerber, director of work, education and instruction at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “the more probably it will meet their wants, they’ll want to continue to be, really feel a perception of belonging, and it will be appealing to them and their peers.”