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think Big and take control
of your future now
This Career Planning Guide for Young Adults was produced by Seedco.
of your future now
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think Big and take control
of your future now
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Funding for this curriculum was provided by the New York City Department of Youth &
Community Development. www.nyc.gov/dycd
The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) was created in 1996 to provide New Yorkers
with high-quality youth and family programming. DYCD funds a wide range of innovative, practical and quality
programs that positively impact youth and communities. Examples include:
• Youth Workforce Development
• Corporate Internships for Youth
• Summer Youth Employment Program
• Nationally Recognized Beacon Community Centers
DYCD’s central task is administering available city, state, and federal funds to strong and effective community-
based organizations. DYCD and its partnering organizations are translating big ideas into practical solutions.
Every individual program plays a critical role in our larger plan to enhance and empower New Yorkers and their
communities.
This curriculum was written by Seedco, with support from Ephraim Weisstein, M.Ed.,
Vice Chair, National Youth Employment Coalition
Lead Writers: Molly Allen, Linda M. Rodríguez, and Carmen Sanguinetti
Contributors and editors: Jason Delo, Saroya Friedman-Gonzalez, Jamie Hillegass,
Shon Morris, Andrea Phillips, Carmen Piñero, Ben Seigel, Julie Shapiro, and Lani Wild
Seedco is a national nonproft organization that works with local partners to create economic opportunities for
disadvantaged job seekers, workers and neighborhood entrepreneurs. We develop, implement, and learn from
model programs that combine evidence-based research, innovative ideas, and outcome-driven management
practices. Seedco also brings a commitment to scale, replication, technical assistance, and feld contribution.
www.seedco.org
Red Rooster Group designed this curriculum.
designers: Howard Levy, Meredith Gibney, and Matthew McNerney.
www.redroostergroup.com
Red Rooster Group is the marketing design frm with a heart. As social entrepreneurs, we believe that design
has the power to make the world a better place. We provide marketing strategy, branding, and design to help
nonprofts improve their effectiveness.
This curriculum was designed as a service to the Department of Youth and Community Development and
its contractors. Neither the Department of Youth and Community Development, the City of New York, or its
employees makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the
accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or treatment of the topics or represents that its use
would not infringe privately owned rights. The views and opinions expressed in the curriculum do not necessarily
state or c the views of the Department of Youth and Community Development or the City of New York. Reference
herein to any activities or actions by participants does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement,
recommendation, or favoring by the Department of Youth and Community Development or the City of New York.
Authors and Contributors
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Acknowledgements
In developing the Career Planning Guide for Young Adults, we were guided by a conviction
that every young person deserves the opportunity to plan for their future, establish career
and fnancial goals, strengthen their skills and successfully transition out of high school.
A project of this magnitude could not be realized without the vision and leadership of many
dedicated individuals. We at the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development
(DYCD) would like to specially thank a number of organizations and individuals for their
extraordinary contributions.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to Seedco, a national nonproft organization that works with
local partners to create economic opportunities for disadvantaged job seekers, workers and
neighborhood entrepreneurs. The staff at Seedco shared our passion for this project and
leveraged their experience in workforce development to create a curriculum that speaks to the
needs of the next generation of workers. In particular, we would like to acknowledge Molly Allen,
Linda M. Rodríguez and Carmen Sanguinetti for their enthusiasm, creativity, and leadership as
they shepherded the development of this guide.
Throughout the development process, we received valuable feedback from the many community-
based organizations that currently operate DYCD-funded youth employment programs. They
provided insight into best practices, participated in focus groups, allowed us to observe classes
and, most importantly, shared their hopes for the youth of their communities. We dedicate this
curriculum to those organizations and the thousands of young adults they serve every year.
I would also like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of my wonderful DYCD staff, who invested
countless hours in a new curriculum that will serve as the foundation of our youth employment
work for years to come. We hope this guide will provide a blueprint for many successful careers.
Jeanne B. Mullgrav
New York City Department of Youth and Community Development
Commissioner
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Graduation from high school is one of the most signifcant moments in our lives. It provides an opportunity to
celebrate our achievements and successfully make the transition to higher education or work. Young adults
who do not adequately prepare for this transition, or who lack the skills and education required, are at risk
of being left behind in a challenging 21st century economy. The American promise of economic mobility is
proving shaky for the next generation of workers, as research indicates that income inequality is increasing,
family income has fallen and racial disparities persist. Numerous other indicators forecast declining
economic security for millions of Americans: the portion of the workforce earning low wages has increased
to 25% ; employer-based health insurance for workers has decreased by 30% over the last 25 years and
employers that offer retirement benefts has decreased by nearly 60% since 1980 . This curriculum aims
to break this trend by equipping young adults with tangible skills that will enable them not only to secure a
job, but to plan a career, maintain employment, problem-solve, build skills, work toward fnancial goals and
advance in careers over time.
The development of this curriculum was informed by our experience, best practices in the feld, emerging
models in workforce development, and the following principles:
• education matters—it infuences earnings and a host of other outcomes for the
rest of young adults’ working lives. Studies have shown that median lifetime income levels are 28% higher
for workers with an Associate’s degree and 61% higher for those with a Bachelor’s degree compared to
earnings for high school graduates. Higher levels of education even correspond to better health choices
and outcomes, greater civic engagement, and improved cognitive functioning in workers’ young children.
A key focus of the ISY curriculum is helping youth explore their strengths and interests, develop career
goals, and understand the education and training paths they need to follow to reach their goals.
• Workplace readiness is equally important. ISY curriculum exercises help youth develop the
“soft skills” (customer service, effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.) that employers
demand as an essential complement to academic or vocational credentials.
• Leaving high school means more than just fnding a job or starting college.
The curriculum incorporates activities that prepare youth for the broader set of challenges—like fnding an
apartment, understanding and managing fnances, and adjusting to independent living—that the transition
to adulthood brings.
• by emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning, we encourage young people
to dream big. The exercises are designed to help youth articulate their own values and strengths;
understand career ladders and opportunities for skills and education upgrades; and envision long-range
economic mobility.
Our experience serving unemployed and low wage workers is a constant reminder of the importance of early
intervention that engages youth at the critical transition point in their lives—and gives them the knowledge,
practical skills, and confdence to chart a course toward a lifetime of career successes and fnancial stability.
Diane Baillargeon
Seedco
President & CEO
IntroduCtion
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I. What Matters to Me
Overview: Letter from The Editor
VaLues
• Huge Help
What would you do with $1,000,000? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
• Young Adults Around the World
How would you deal with challenges faced by teens around the world?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
• Quote Me
Which quotes most sound like your life philosophy? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
• Quiz: How Much Does It Matter?
Do your behaviors conform to your values? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
• Under the Hood
Do others view you the way you view yourself? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
• What Kind of a Leader Am I?
Which leadership traits do you most admire? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
• Poll: Why Work?
Why do people work? Why do you want to work? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
• Decisions
What decisions would you make? (Two case studies). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
LiFe goaLs
• Quiz: Am I Ready for the Next Step?
Are you ready for the transition out of high school? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
• Get the Scoop
Learn about career choices made by someone you know. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
• Five Minutes With…
What life choices did these famous people make? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
• What I’ve Learned
Write a letter from the future (when you are 30 years old) to yourself today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
• Think Big
What are your life priorities and goals? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
• Within My Reach
How will you overcome barriers in your life to reach a goal? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
• My Blog/Journal
Keep a blog or journal to refect on what you learn (use throughout program) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
• Action Plan
Use this template to track your progress toward your goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
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II. My Career
introduCtion to Career PLanning and WorK readiness
• Puzzled
Crossword puzzle fun! (related to the job market) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
• Think You’ve Heard it All? Wacky Jobs
Read about unusual jobs and think about your own career. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
• Apartment Hunt
Can you fnd an affordable “dream” apartment?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
• Job-pardy!
Compete in teams to answer questions about the job
market (based on Jeopardy format) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
exPLore and eVaLuate Career interests
• One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Personality Test
Take a personality test to identify potential career matches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
• No Clue Which Career is Right for You?
Review examples of careers that ft different interests and personality types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
• Which Type of Worker Are You?
Discuss athletes and their strengths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
• Find Your Match
Find someone in the room with your interests or skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
• Getting Your Dream Job
Get your dream job by starting with a job you can do today . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
• The Economy Is Always Changing: Explore Sectors
Explore sectors that are predicted to grow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
• Sector Snapshot: Information Technology
Take a closer look at education and salaries in one sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
eduCation and training oPPortunities
• Is Education Worth It?
What is the potential pay-off for post-secondary education and training? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
• What if College is Not for You Now?
Explore careers that require less education, and alternative career paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
• Financial Aid Options
Learn about fnancial aid. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
• NYS Educational Opportunities
Review a list of NYS schools and research fve of them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Career PLan
• Career Day
Invite special guests to share their careers and work experiences with you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
• My Network
Think about the people you know who can help you with your career path.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
• Informational Interviews
Learn how to use informational interviews to build your career . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
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• Volunteer Resources
Various volunteer-related websites and tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
• Employment Resources
Various employment-related websites and tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
• My Career Plan
Create your career plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
III. Preparing to Work
Job aPPLiCation ProCess
• Job Readiness Checklist
Are you ready to begin the job search process? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
• My 411 Personal Information
Document personal, educational, and work-related information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
• Green Mountain Summer Camp Application
Complete a sample job application . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
• Resume Writing 101
Write your resume – remember to update it often! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
• Put Yourself in Your Employer’s Shoes
How do employers review resumes? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
• The Art of Cover Letter Writing
Why is a cover letter so important? What should you write? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
• Sample Thank You Note
When do you thank an employer? How do you do it? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
interVieWs
• Common Interview Questions
Learn the interview basics (this is good for college interviews too) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
• Mock Interviews
Practice interview scenarios . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
• NASA Internship Interview
Role-play as interviewer and interviewee - rate each other using a real scoring sheet . . . . . . . . 106
• What NOT to Wear on an Interview
Read about interview attire do’s and don’ts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
IV. success at Work and Beyond
exceeding expectations and reaching Your goals
CongratuLations! You got tHe Job - noW WHat?
• Making the Call- Accepting/Declining the Job Offer
Learn how to accept and decline job offers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
• Getting Ready for Your First Day at Work
Do you know how to prepare for your frst day at work?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
• Don’t Sweat it! Making a Good First Impression
How will you make a good frst impression?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
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• Top 5 Things Your Boss Assumes About You
Learn how to exceed expectations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
• Working Well with Others
How would you handle a diffcult colleague? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
• Professionalism 101
Discuss the best responses to tough on-the-job situations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
• Should Have Said… (Codes of Conduct)
Tips for effectively communicating at work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
• Challenges on the Job
Discuss a series scenarios (handling conficts) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
• Worker Rights
Know your rights on the job. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
tiMe ManageMent and WorK/LiFe baLanCe
• Where Does the Time Go?
You will have less time when you start working – learn how to prioritize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
• Top 10 Signs You Need a Break
How do you deal with stress?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
• How Do I Balance It All?
Develop strategies to balance work and your personal life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
saVing and asset buiLding
• Understanding My Paycheck
Learn how to read a pay stub . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
• My Sources of Income: How Much Do You Make?
Develop a realistic budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
• My Relationship with Money: Dollars and Sense
How do you view and handle money? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
• Where Does All the Money Go?
Review budgets and discuss money management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
• Credit Cards 101
Save money by avoiding credit card traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
• Why does it seem like the rich get richer and the poor…?
Strategies for fnancial planning and saving money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Career and adVanCeMent resourCes
• Introduction to Career Advancement
Explore ways to continue growing in your career (letter of recommendation pg. 147) . . . . . . . . . 148
• Websites
Helpful websites to continue learning about careers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
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LEttER from the editor
Hello!
Figuring out what you want to do with your career is one of the biggest
challenges and most exciting opportunities you’ll have in your life. Many
adults work at very different jobs over the years before they can tell
what kind of work suits them the best. It is important to pay attention
not only to what you enjoy doing, but also to take note of your strengths,
the kind of people you like working with, and the environments where
you feel the most productive. This will help you fgure out the big picture
and fnd your dream job.
This guide was designed for you -- we want you to get as much out
of this career planning program as possible. All you need is the right
attitude! We know it is nerve-racking to be involved in something new
sometimes, but having an open mind and really developing relationships
with your peers and the facilitator in the program will pay off.
This is your life, so take some time to plan out where you want to be.
When you are planning out your future, you have the time to refect on
your values and goals. It is easier to achieve your goals when you know
what steps you need to take. Transitions can be scary, but remember,
they are also full of new adventures, new friends, and new memories!
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE PROGRAM:
1 Collaborate
In most programs, groups that work together and support each
other tend to perform better. Since you will be going through the
same things as your peers, it is helpful to work with them!
2 Refect
If you want to fnd out more about who you are, you should take
the time to think and refect on your goals, values, where you
have come from, and where you want to be.
3 Ask for Help
Use the resources available through the program. Ask your
peers to help you in areas that you have weaknesses in, and go
to the facilitator when you have questions or need guidance.
That’s why they’re there!
Here are a few tips!
Take advantage of the time you have.

To really make this program useful,
keep up with everything. Put 100%
effort into projects or assignments.
Support your peers, and ask questions
Decide to make it a worthwhile
experience!
When you start new activities that offer
different options, choose ones that
interest you or ones that will push your
refection and learning further.
Realize that you get out what you put
in. If you put in maximum effort, you will
get maximum rewards.
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Name ________________________ Date _______
Young aduLts
Around the gloBe
I NDI A
Kamla, a teen in Delhi, became a sex worker when
she was twelve years old. She did not think that she
could stop working because her family relied on her
income. She needed to try to live a better life. After
she fell in love, she ran away from the brothel to get
married. While she was able to escape, there are
thousands of young teens like her who will never
be free. These teens face a real dilemma – do they
carve out their own path, or do they choose to do
what they think will help their families survive?
Based on Brothel Boom Ensnares More of India’s Daughters by Swapna
Majumdar www.womensnews.org
URUGUAY
Javier is a seventeen year old living in Villa Garcia, a
slum in the outskirts of Montevideo city in Uruguay.
Javier’s parents fed to Montevideo in search of
better living conditions. Shortly after their move,
his parents couldn’t make ends meet in the city and
had to move to the outskirts of town. Javier went to
school but quit in the 5th grade. His parents weren’t
happy but could not really afford to do anything -
they were busy providing for their family of eight.
Javier used to daydream about getting a job fxing
cars, but needs to study to be able to do that and
cannot afford to go to training. Javier’s girlfriend is
now pregnant and will be moving in with him shortly.
They will both be sharing one bedroom in the tin
house where Javier lives with his parents and his
seven siblings. Javier will now have to fnd a job
picking fruit for very little money and with no real
future.
GHANA
At just 17 years old, Alex Nimo, a rookie for Real Salt
Lake, has seen more of the worst in humanity than
most Americans will see in their entire lives. His
family fed a civil war in Liberia, losing everything.
They ended up in a refugee camp in Ghana for nine
years. Refugee camps are terrible places to live
– with limited access to water and food, constant
violence, and none of the luxuries many Americans
take for granted. He did not even have shoes. Yet,
he found a way to play soccer. His family was fnally
able to escape and he now lives in Portland, Oregon.
According to Nimo, “Everything just kind of opened…
I was just like, wow this is like a privilege. This is like
a miracle and I’m going to just live it to the best of my
ability.” Now, he is part of the under-17 US national
soccer team. He will never forget the hard choices
his family made to survive.
From “RSL Rookie Toughened by Years as Refugee” by Michael C. Lewis for
The Salt Lake Tribune http://www.sltrib.com/realsaltlake/ci_8446384
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
What obstacles did these families face?
How did these teens change their lives?
Would you make the same choices?
Have you personally experienced, or heard
about these types of challenges?
Think about obstacles you have overcome.
What helped you? What did you learn?
for more info, check out these
international flms that spotlight issues of
poverty and opportunity for young people:
Invisible Children
Born into Brothels
City of God
Blood Diamond
Life is Beautiful
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Jhe eureese el ihls acilvliv ls ie ihlnk abeui veur ewn
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-Va|ce|m X (Amerlcan clvl| rlahis acilvlsi)
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Name ________________________ Date _______
SED102_DYCDguide_Sec1_M.indd 14 10/2/08 5:43:25 PM
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Jhe eureese el ihls acilvliv ls ie ihlnk abeui veur ewn
eersena| aueie. A lew exame|es el aueies are erevlded
be|ew. Yeu can a|se |eek ler eiher aueies ihai are
meanlnalu| ie veu. |n ihe seace be|ew, wrlie ihe aueie
and whv veu se|ecied li.
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-Vahaima ûandhl (|ndlan ehl|eseeher, eaclllsi)
°Vv |lle has been ene areai
bla jeke. A dance ihai's
wa|ked. A sena ihai's seeke,
| |auah se hard | a|mesi cheke
when | ihlnk abeui mvse|l.¨
-Vava Anae|eu (Amerlcan eeei,
nemlnaied ler ihe |u|lizer |rlze)
¡8FDBOOPUTPMWFPVSQSPCMFNT
XJUIUIFTBNFUIJOLJOHXFVTFE
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deve|eeed iheerv el re|ailvliv)
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-L|eaner Peeseve|i (|e|lilca| |eader,
lermer |lrsi Ladv, sullraalsi)
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luiure, ler iemerrew be|enas ie
ihese whe ereeare ler li iedav.¨
-Va|ce|m X (Amerlcan clvl| rlahis acilvlsi)
.: 2605&
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Name ________________________ Date _______
1. My health is important to me. True / False
2. I exercise regularly. True / False
3. I eat nutritious food and try to limit junk food. True / False
4. I don’t smoke cigarettes. True / False
5. I would like to live a healthier lifestyle. True / False
6. I care about the environment. True/False
7. I stop my friends when I see them litter. True/False
8. I only recycle when it is convenient. True / False
9. I think that what’s bad for the environment is bad for me. True / False
10. Men and women should have equal opportunities. True / False
11. I would encourage a female to study to become a computer technician. True / False
12. I would encourage a male friend to become a nurse. True / False
13. I don’t think gender discrimination exists. True / False
14. Prejudice is wrong. True / False
15. I make friends without considering their culture, religion, sexual orientation, or race. True / False
16. I would stand up for a friend who is dating someone of a different race or the same gender.
True / False
Please answer the following questions by circling either True or False.
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17. I would tell my friends to stop if they were making racist or
homophobic comments. True /False
18. I don’t feel comfortable around people of other races or
sexual orientation. True /False
19. I want to be able to support myself. True /False
20. I try to get good grades so I can go to college and get a
good job. True /False
21. I build my skills through working and volunteering. True / False
22. I think about what things cost and how I can support myself.
True / False
23. I have thought about what I want to do after high school.
True / False
24. I want to help my family with their fnances. True /False
25. I want to help my community. True/False
26. I am an adult. True /False
27. I take my responsibilities very seriously. True /False
28. I don’t need to worry about things because my parents will
take care of me. True / False
29. The idea of being independent is overwhelming. True /False
30. I’ve been on my own for a while and am ready for the future.
True /False
Did any of your responses surprise you?
Was it hard to be honest? Why or why not?
If someone who didn’t know you read your responses to these
questions, would he or she get a good sense of who you are?
After you have answered all of these questions, take a minute to look back over your answers.
Do you think that most of your classmates
would give the same responses to these
questions as you did? Why or why not?
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Name ________________________ Date _______
Do others see you as you see yourself?
circle the words that your friends or family would use to describe you.
don’t be shy about circling a lot of them!
under the hooD under the hooD
honest
talented
outgoing
open Minded
friendly
Calm
Quiet
giving
Comfortable
generous
responsible
independent
funny
kind
understanding
Considerate
optimistic
intelligent
good Communicator
loyal
hard-working
Down-to-earth
trusting
energetic
Polite
tolerant
leader
neat
Professional
Punctual
happy
reliable
Mature
Dedicated
inquisitive
nice
Creative
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Name ________________________ Date _______
WHat Kind oF
LeAder
are You?
do you inspire people?
are you persuasive?
do you lead by example?
do you offer practical solutions?
You’ve probably heard a lot about leadership.
but since all leaders are different, how do you know
what kind of leader you would be, or what kind of leader
you would like to follow?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- robert Frost, american Poet
What do you think about these leaders?
President of the United States (or another politician)
Major Sports Figure (e.g. Lebron James, Tiger Woods)
Entertainment Icon (e.g. Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney)
Business Leader (e.g. Donald Trump, Jay-Z, Bill Gates)
Fashion Visionary (e.g. Vera Wang, Marc Ecko)
Which leader do you think is most effective? Why?
What are YOUR top three leadership traits?
Polite
tolerant
leader
neat
Professional
Punctual
happy
reliable
Mature
Dedicated
inquisitive
nice
Creative
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Name ________________________ Date _______
Almost everyone needs to work to make ends meet. Make work a
meaningful part of your life by fguring out what matters most to you and
fnding a job that is a good match.
tAke A PoLL
Ask someone who works what they gain from their job. Check all responses provided.
_____ Financial Independence
_____ Ability to Save Money
_____ Asset Building (e.g. buy a home)
_____ Build Experience and Skills
_____ Develop Friendships
_____ Help People
_____ Support My Family
_____ Pride
_____ Prepare for My Future
_____ Contribute to Society
_____ Use My Talents
_____ Networking (get contacts)
_____ Good References
Other ________________________________________________________________
WhY Work?
1
How to make it more than just a paycheck
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My reAsons
What are you looking for in a job? Check all responses that apply.
2
Be an Entrepreneur
Be an Expert
Caring Supervisors
Casual Environment
Challenging Work
Competitive Environment
Creativity
Competence
Excitement
Fun
Help Others
Help Society
Independence
Infuence
Moral Values
Nice Coworkers
Problem Solving
Quality Environment
Recognition
Respect
Take Risk
InTrInSIC VALueS exTrInSIC VALueS LIfeSTYLe
Authority
Career Advancement
Close Supervision
Job Security
Diversity
Decision-Making
Education Opportunities
Formal Environment
Handling Money
Health Benefts
Chance to Learn
Organizational Structure
Pace: Fast or Slow
Paid Sick Leave
Position
Power
Work Under Pressure
Reputation of Company
Retirement Benefts
Self-directed Work
Size of Company
Skill Building Training
Status
Work on a Team
Work Alone
Live Simply
Commuting Distance
Flexible Schedule
Live Abroad
Live in City/Rural Area
Physical Activity
Public Transportation
Public Contact
Regular Work Week
Relocation
Security
Take Vacations
Travel for Work
Variety in Tasks
Salary
Wear a Uniform
Work Indoor/Outdoor
Work From Home
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Name ________________________ Date _______
We all make decisions everyday. By being in this program you decided to plan
for your future. What impacts your decisions?
CheCk out these sCenArios:
José has just graduated from high school and was accepted into the Future Scholars Program at
Northeastern University in Boston. The Future Scholars Program awards full tuition for college as
well as personal and academic support. José has lived in the Bronx all his life and was encouraged
to apply for the program. Once he was accepted, he instantly knew it would be a great opportunity
for him. However, he has had a very hard time deciding. José’s parents are not supportive of this
idea. Both his parents are immigrants and since they don’t have their family around, they don’t
want José to move to Boston. Jose’s friends aren’t supportive either and they make jokes about
him moving to a smaller city which is not as fun or as exciting as New York City. José is unsure
whether to follow his instincts and pursue a great opportunity or stay in New York and look for
something else.
Mary is a student at IS 227 and is currently in the honors program. She really enjoys her classes
and fnds them interesting and challenging. Her teacher mentioned that due to her consistent
good grades, she could qualify to go to Colin Powell High School which could eventually lead to
great college opportunities. Mary is thinking about it and is unsure whether to switch schools
or stay at her current school. She is afraid that going to Colin Powell High School might mean
losing her current friendships and that she may not really feel comfortable in such a different
environment. Why would she be interested in commuting two hours each way if she can walk
to her current school? She knows deep down that this new school would mean opening a
wide range of opportunities for her future though.
Both Mary and José are presented with interesting and challenging opportunities.
They need to make decisions based on their priorities, interests and values. Think
about the questions below:
1. What are the key things José/Mary should consider?
2. What seem to be the most important infuences on Mary’s and José’s
decisions?
3. What would you do if you were in Mary’s or José’s situation?
decisions you
can live with
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Making a decision is not always a conscious process; but the reality is that we don’t really make
decisions in a vacuum. the following are some of the factors that may have an infuence on your
decision making process:

PeOPLe’S OPInIOnS:
Parents
Siblings
Extended family
Close friends
Classmates
Teachers
MOTIVATOrS:
What you want
What you need
What others want or need from you
What you desired when you were
younger
How you want to be perceived by
others
feeLInGS:
Fear
Excitement
Pride
Enthusiasm
Indifference
Impatience
During the next few months, you will be learning more about yourself, your skills, assets and
interests. You will also be exploring different career options and what makes the most sense
for you.
Questions for DisCussion or Your journAl:
When you need advice, do you always seek advice from the same people, or does it vary depending on the
topic? Do you sometimes ‘pick and choose’ who to ask for advice from, knowing what they will most likely
tell you? Is this always the best thing to do?
Do you think you will need support to decide on your path for the next few years?
Who should you seek career advice from?
Who will most likely be unsupportive if you decide to continue to study or go straight to work?
How do you deal with those unsupportive infuences?
What do you think are the factors that should infuence your choices?
What have you learned in the past when you’ve made poor decisions?
now that we’ve discussed the factors that infuence your decision making, do you think you would like to
make any changes in the future? If so, write down your ideas below:
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Name ________________________ Date _______
1 I am ready to graduate from high school.

2 I may need more time or support to graduate from high school.
3 I want to start working as soon as I graduate from high school.
4 I already have a career plan and I know what kind of work I’d like to do.
5 I have already taken the steps to further my education or get a job.
6 I would like to receive training to get a good job but don’t want to spend much more time
studying or in school.
7 I would like to get into a community college or university program.

8 I don’t think I can afford college right now.

9 I’d like to continue my education in some way but I’m not sure what kind of training or
options are even available.

10 I haven’t even thought about what I want to do when I fnish high school.

am i ready for the next step?
Ever thought about college? A good training program? Jumping right into a job? Take this short quiz
to fgure out what step you may want to take after high school.
Review your answers and start thinking about your next steps. Your
answers refect where you are now and not where you can go.
Quiz:
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
Strongly Agree Somewhat Agree Disagree Neutral
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Name ________________________ Date _______
Get the Scoop
Questions
When you were younger, what did you plan to be when you grew up?
What were your hobbies?
Who do you look up to and see as a role model?
How would you describe your career and job responsibilities?
What education did you need for your career?
Did networking with people you know ever help you get a job?
What was the worst job you ever had? How did you make the most of it?
Where did you grow up?
Describe your home life. Do you have any siblings?
What is one short term goal you have?
What is one long term goal you have?
What advice would you give young people to help them achieve their goals?
Have you ever had any experience which made you rethink what you wanted to do
with your life? Positive or negative?
What is the best part of your current job/career?
If you could do it all again with respect to your education and career what would you
do over? What would you keep the same? Why/why not?
Are you happy?
Ask A relAtive, frienD, neighbor, teACher or soMeone else You know About
CAreers, life ChoiCes, hobbies, ADviCe, AnD finDing hAPPiness.
W
ould you have m
ade the
sam
e life choices?
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You could also research someone you do not know
and try to see if you can answer these questions
based on interviews, articles, etc.
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Name ________________________ Date _______
5min WitH…
DAviD neeleMAn: entrePreneur
David Neeleman has transformed the airline industry with his out-of-the-box, customer-focused and employee-friendly approach to
the company he founded, JetBlue Airways. According to NBC Today show’s Peter Greenberg “Neeleman took the traditional business
plan and threw it out the window.” He is responsible for piloting the industry’s frst electronic ticketing system; adding perks such
as leather seats, more legroom, DirectTV at each seat, and name-brand snacks for passengers; and pioneering a home reservation
system (employees work from home) that is the foundation of JetBlue’s call center.
In America’s 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs (www.inc.com), David Neeleman is described as “A famously frenetic 44-year-old
Mormon with nine kids and attention defcit disorder, Neeleman is a ferocious salesman who knew something about making people
happy; he just wants to do better.” He has consistently carved new and unique paths for himself and his businesses. This is not
without risk- before JetBlue, one of his businesses went bankrupt.
Neeleman believes that JetBlue’s success is because of its staff. Known for rolling up his sleeves and working alongside his employ-
ees, Neeleman routinely checks-in passengers, serves drinks, and even handles baggage. He catches JetBlue fights to know frst-
hand what passengers are experiencing, chatting with customers to get their feedback. “You have to got to be close to the action,”
said Neeleman in an interview.
By offering crewmembers the chance to directly share in the company’s profts, Neeleman says, “what you cannot buy is the loyalty
that comes through our dedicated crew members. I got a report the other day that says that 84% of our people participate in our
stock purchase program, where they can buy stock at a 15% discount.” As CEO of JetBlue, Neeleman’s salary was $200,000, which
he donated to JetBlue’s catastrophe fund, established for employees who fall on hard times.
In 2008, Neeleman announced plans to launch a new airline, Azul, a domestic airline in Brazil, where he was born.
Questions for DisCussion or Your journAl:
1 Is David Neeleman happy with his career? Why or why not?
2 What parts of his work do you think Neeleman likes most? Why?
3 Do you think David Neeleman would be happy:
- working alone in a laboratory?
- as an inventor?
- dedicating his life to public service?
4 Do you think Neeleman’s efforts to treat his employees well contributes to his own satisfaction at work?
Would you want to work for him?
Taken from http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/david-neeleman-and-te-story-of-jetblue/article26511.html
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5min WitH…
MArthA stewArt: Multi-MeDiA lifestYle entrePreneur
Martha Stewart is a self-made entrepreneur, famous mostly for her videos, TV shows, books, and seminars that address home
skills such as gardening, cooking, decorating, and entertaining. In business, Stewart has used intelligent administration and
entrepreneurship to succeed at nearly every thing she’s tried. In 1976, Stewart started a catering company with a friend. Stewart
used her strong business administration skills early in this career, turning her company into a multi-million dollar enterprise after a
decade. In the meantime, Stewart had become a contributing writer to the New York Times and the magazine House Beautiful.
Talking about the most important characteristics for success: “For me it’s a dedication to your real interests. It’s an ability to be
open-minded. Without an open-minded mind, you can never be a great success. The great artists have been open-minded, even
though they may seem, like Picasso, to be very directed, you can be directed and open-minded at the same time. I think you have to
be really intensely serious about your work, but not so serious that you can’t see the lightness that may also involve your life. You
have to have that lightness too. You have to not be so heavy-handed and so ostentatious. It’s very important not to be.”
Talking about her dreams when she was young: “When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher. I was greatly inspired by my third grade
teacher, Miss Irene Wire, and by my ffth grade teacher, Miss Mitchell. My parents were both teachers. So I really pursued that idea
as a career, until I got to college. “In college I discovered the world of chemistry, which I loved. I discovered the world of architectural
history. I discovered so many different things that I decided that maybe I would forgo the teaching career for a while. The frst thing
that really caught me was the stock market. I became a stockbroker, immediately out of college, forgoing architecture school.”
Talking about her success: “I’ve tried to fgure out why it happens to a person, because I feel that I’m the same person that I’ve
always been. I have grown and become probably smarter in my work, and developed and built a business that’s growing, and
growing, and growing. But I’m basically the same person. My likes are the same. My tastes may have gotten a little better, or a little
bit more educated. But still, I always get up and clean out the kitty litter. You know, I make sure everybody is home, all the animals.
I go down through the garden and prune, and pick, and do all those things. I keep grounded, and by keeping grounded you can then
see very clearly what’s happened to you.”
Questions for DisCussion or Your journAl:
1 Does Martha Stewart seem happy with her work? Why do you think so?
2 What part of Martha Stewart’s job seems most satisfying to her?
3 Do you think Martha would be happy: at a desk job? working alone?
4 What do you think Martha’s advice to you would be when exploring your career options?
Taken from Achievement.org- http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/ste0int-1
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5min with…
russell siMMons: MeDiA AnD retAil entrePreneur
Simmons, a middle-class kid from Queens, N.Y., attended the City College of New York and dabbled in the street life briefy before he
heard rap’s siren call. He didn’t hesitate to follow, and against his father’s wishes, frst working as manager for pioneering rap artists
Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC (which included Simmons’ older brother Joey “Rev. Run” Simmons), then as founder of Def Jam Records
with producer and partner Rick Rubin.
Together, the pair built Def Jam into the Motown of rap on the strength of artists such as Run-DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys.
Simmons parlayed Def Jam’s musical success into other arenas, launching the successful Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Run Athletics and
Def Jam University urban clothing lines and bringing hip-hop to television with his “Def Comedy Jam,” “Def Poetry Jam” and the
MTV reality series “Run’s House.” Now a multimillionaire father of two, Simmons is active in several philanthropic organizations,
including the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, the Diamond Endowment fund and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, named after
his street nickname.
Talking about how he tells his children about the differences between real success and material wealth: “I tell them the same thing
I tell everyone else -- that toys alone can never make you happy. I try to explain to them that real happiness can only come from
giving to the world. There’s really no other way. I think one of them already understands that, the other one is in the process of
understanding it. But really, my hopes for them are fairly simple. If they can wake up every morning and think about what they can
give to the world instead of what they can get from the world, then I think they’ll be OK.”
Talking about how he has gotten so far in the business: “…You see what is in front of you and what you can add to it... some people
change from the money, others do it only for the money, some do it for the art. You have to be in it, but you also have to enjoy it.”

Questions for DisCussion or Your journAl:
1 What is important to Russell Simmons in his career? Why do you think so?
2 What does Russell value in his job?
3 Do you think Russell likes working in a company with structure, or one that allows him to be creative?
Why?
4 What kind of skills, attributes and personality do you need to do the kinds of jobs that
Russell Simmons has done in his life?
Taken from askmen.com- http://www.askmen.com/toys/interview_100/108_russell_simmons_interview.html and bankrate.com - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/investing/20070915_
fame_fortune_russell_Simmon_al.asp
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5min with…
jennifer loPez: Multi-MeDiA entertAiner AnD entrePreneur
The following is part of an interview with Jennifer Lopez from Reader’s Digest.
RD: These last few years you’ve had a hit movie, a couple of hit CDs, launched a clothing line and perfume, opened a
restaurant, and you’re engaged to the love of your life. It looks like a fairy tale. How does it feel?
Jennifer Lopez: It feels amazing, but also scary – like I’m about to start learning what life is really about.
RD: What was the Bronx like that you grew up in? Was it safe?
Jennifer Lopez: It was inner city. To me it was safe. It was all I knew. My mother would send me to the store, and I’d go,
when I was like eight years old.
RD: There weren’t gangs, or gunshots?
Jennifer Lopez: I only found out when I was in my 20’s and dated a cop who worked in my neighborhood. I told him I grew
up on Castle Hill, and he said, “That’s the worst crime area.” I knew nothing of it. My parents had three girls and raised us
to do the right things – go to school, get good grades, try to get into college. It was about trying to have a better life. We
weren’t allowed to hang out on the streets. Parties – God forbid. I’d beg for weeks to go, then have to be home by 11 p.m.,
when everybody else was just getting there.
other jennifer loPez Quotes:
“At the end of the day, I just want my work to speak for itself. “
“I feel I want to grow as an actress and be better. I want to progress as a singer and songwriter, and produce
movies and everything. So there’ll be no time when I feel I’ve done it all.”
“I’d be stupid not to take into consideration that there are certain things people will not consider me for
because my name is Lopez. And I know I can do any kind of role. I don’t want anybody to say, Oh, she can’t pull
this off. So those are barriers that you have to overcome.”
“The bear is what we all wrestle with. Everybody has their bear in life. It’s about conquering that bear and
letting him go.”
“You get what you give. What you put into
things is what you get out of them.”
Questions for DisCussion or Your journAl:
1 What did Jennifer Lopez do growing up to stay focused growing up, so that she was able to accomplish her
dreams?
2 Is Jennifer satisfed with what she has done in her career? Does she have more plans?
3 What do you think the “bear” is that Jennifer refers to above?
4 Jennifer says “you get what you give”. What does this mean to you?
Interview taken from reader’s Digest – http://www.rd.com/celebrities/movie-celebs/interview-with-jennifer-lopez/article.html
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Name ________________________ Date _______
Imagine what you know now that would have been helpful when you were a
teenager. Write a note to yourself and share what you’ve learned.
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Dear Alex,
Don’t ask me how I can send this letter from
the future (new technology!) I don’t have much
time to write – I am on a lunch break at my job.
Yes, we did it – I work in advertising. I help the
people who write jingles for commercials.
Anyway, I thought you might want to know that
things worked out with mom. She is doing well
and I live a few blocks away from her. You would
love my apartment! It is sunny and I can play
my music as loud as I want!
I’ve learned how important it is to treat your
family and yourself well. I go to the movies a
lot with friends and have gone on some dream
vacations. It takes a lot of hard work and some
days are harder than others, but you can do it.
You just need to believe in yourself and don’t
let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do.
It’s your life and you have to make the most of
every minute!
You have a lot to look forward to. For now, get
good grades and stay focused.
All the Best,

Alex
You’re
30 YeArs olD.
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Name ________________________ Date _______
reAChing for the things thAt MAtter Most to You
what do you want out of life?
This is a basic yet important question to ask yourself. Career planning is part of taking control
of your life and choosing how you will defne success for yourself.
Rate the priorities that matter most to you:
Family: Is spending time with your family the most important thing to you? If it is, you may
need to accept less pay to work jobs with shorter work hours and fexibility.
Money: Do you want to earn as much money as possible? If you do, you may need to prepare
for jobs that have the highest earnings potential, regardless of the education required, long
hours, or potential stress.
Community: Do you want to improve your community or the world? This is an admirable goal
but may require a modest lifestyle since salaries are often lower in these felds.
Creativity: Do you want to create art, dance, fashion, or music? If you are an artist at heart,
prepare to potentially earn less, or work more than one job. Artists often work one job that pays
the bills and one that satisfes their artistic interests.
entrepreneurial: Interested in developing your own business? There could be a huge upside,
but there is also more risk. Planning and resources will be needed. You may also work long
hours since you would be responsible for your business’ success.
how will you know if you have “made it”?
how will you defne your own success?
the most important thing to me is to be able to …
i woulD Also like to be Able to …
Your career plan should ft into your life goals.
Always keep in mind what you hope to achieve – think about the big picture.

THInK BIG:
MY GOALS
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Name ________________________ Date _______
There are certain things in life that are within your reach
or control, and certain things that are beyond your control.
This diagram illustrates how your “circle of infuence”
works.
While nothing is permanently outside your control, it takes
time, resources, and a network to expand your infuence.
Use this diagram to think about how your environment may
affect your ability to reach your goals and how you will
address those challenges.
We’ve all heard the saying “you have to choose your
battles.” Think about the things within your control and the
things you control least.
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Me:
Who I am
Family: family members sup-
port, family’s fnancial situa-
tion, family relationships
friends: Support from friends,
friends’ ideas and behaviors,
different groups of friends
City: geographic location, size of the city,
options available in it
Community: geographic location of your com-
munity, leaders in the community
School: resources available, links to
other schools, teachers, mentors
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Example Goal:
Continue education or training after high school
If your goal is to continue your education or training, you have certain things within your reach or
that you can control. You can control how much you study, how organized you are, etc. If your family
has fnancial issues, you may feel limited by where you can apply to school or which types of training
you can access. But you can still have control over your own fnances by getting a job or applying for
scholarships and grants. When it comes to friends, if you surround yourself with people who do not want
to continue to study, then you may be more likely to skip it as well. But you can still control whether you
decide to go with your gut and apply for further education and training.
As your circle of infuence expands, you reach your school. You may face challenges within your school,
such as a lack of supportive services for students who are interested in continuing their education.
Maybe you only have one guidance counselor for the 1,000+ students in your high school. It could be
extremely diffcult to get a one-time appointment with the counselor, let alone have him/her take the
time to help you map out your future education plan. Even if this situation arises, you have the control
over whether you give up or keep looking for help from other people – like teachers or other adults in the
school you trust!
Remember, you can control your ACTIONS and ATTITUDES. Take the bumps in the road, and prepare to
face these challenges. This is how your sphere of infuence works. The wider you look, whether in your
community as a whole or the city you live in, the less you can directly control. you can You can exert
more infuence as you face the challenges and develop your skills and personal network
Me: I am
determined and
hard working
City: offers several education options
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Community: there are some resources
available for those that want to continue to study
friends: they might not want
to continue to study,
may not be supportive
family: might be supportive
but might not be able
to support fnancially
School: supportive mentor
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use the diagram below for your own goal and
how the ‘circles of infuence’ affect that goal.
Family:
friends:
City:
Community:
School:
Me:
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Name ________________________ Date _______
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NAME EMAIL ADDRESS OR MYSPACE PAGE
MY PLANS MY FAMILY MY HERITAGE WHAT I LIKE TO BE CALLED
WHAT I ENJOY MY DISLIKES MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO FOR
FUN MY FRIENDS WHERE I LIVE HOW I WOULD SPEND A MILLION
DOLLARS MY HAPPIEST MEMORY MY FAVORITE BOOK
facilitator response Box
If a participant shares his/her blog with you, use this
space to write a response. If you chose to do this
activity as a blog or email, give feedback in the form of
a blog comment or response email.
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Name ________________________ Date _______
goAl stePs to get to MY goAl keY DeADlines resourCes/notes
My action Plan
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