Mentoring Resources: 3 Tips to Help Your Little Be Future Ready
Mentors play an important role in shaping a young person’s future… in and outside the classroom. With the new school year starting this week for many Mass Bay Littles, we thought it would be a great time to coach Bigs on an aspect of mentoring they might not be as comfortable with. How can Bigs utilize their positive influence to get their mentees excited about their future?
One great resource is Future Ready Massachusetts, an organization that is committed to empowering students, families and influential adults, like Bigs, with the essential information they need to help their Little understand what it means to be college and career ready and how to prepare to meet these expectations. They put together 3 Future Ready Tips to help you engage your Little and get them excited about their future:
1. Start Now:
It’s never too early or too late to help your Little think about what they might want to do in the future.
Start a discussion about what they want to be when they grow up. Always encourage them to stay in school and help your Little Little think through what kinds of skills they might need to do that job. Together, you can look up information about these careers on MassCIS where you will find information on jobs with the Occupations Tool (for Middle School students or High School students). This tool lists overviews of occupations, the skills or training needed, salary information and more. This will give Littles a good idea about the requirements of jobs in different industries.
TIP: You can talk to your Little about your own experiences. Tell them what your goals were when you were growing up, the challenges and triumphs along the way and how you got to where you are today.
2. Aim High:
Help your Little think about achievable goals he or she can set inside and outside of the classroom. If they are struggling academically, help them think through options to improve—might a tutor help or better study habits and time management? Encourage your Little to aim high by working hard in all subjects and if they can handle it, consider enrolling in honors or AP classes that will help them prepare for high school and college level work or career training programs. For college and career ready programs that can help your Little aim high, check the Future Ready Resource Finder.
TIP: This MassCore information sheet lists all the courses of study students should complete in high school in order to be college and career ready.
3. Look Beyond:
Encourage your Little to look beyond the classroom and seek opportunities that allow him or her to learn new skills. Volunteering, an internship or a summer job are great ways to acquire skills. Littles in middle school might want to consider becoming involved in an extracurricular activity at school like a sport or a student club. And if they have a specific interest, they might want to consider volunteering with a community organization. Littles in high school will also want to think about extracurricular school activities or volunteering. Littles who are eligible to work should seek internship or job opportunities. These kinds of experiences are the best ways for your Little to expand their skillset, get an understanding of how to engage in a professional environment and learn how to work with different people. These are experiences that will also stand out on college and job applications.
TIP: Mass Resources lists youth job information and youth program opportunities by city and town. You can direct your Little to these resources so they can apply or you can assist them with the process.
Future Ready Massachusetts is a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Massachusetts Financing Authority. To find out more about Future Ready Massachusetts go towww.FutureReadyMA.org. Follow Future Ready on Twitter @FutureReadyMA and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FutureReadyMA. To receive monthly updates on college and career ready topics sign up for the Future Ready Bulletin.