Helping youth think about post-secondary options starts in middle school. The SOAR program works to broaden youth’s perceived career path possibilities through education and encourages youth to envision at least two possible post-secondary education options.

In the fall SOAR semester, staff highlighted various potential career paths for the students through lessons and partnerships. Youth competed in the Stock Market Game, learned about medical careers with visiting University of Minnesota Medical students, and researched Engineering and City Planning. The last lesson culminated in youth writing letters to council board members who preside over the Philips neighborhood. SOAR youth also visited the University of St Thomas and Minnesota Community Technical College (MCTC). During those visits youth learned about things they can do in high school to help save them time and money in their post-secondary education. The different levels of post-secondary education were explained and what types of careers need an associate degree instead of a bachelor’s degree were identified.

97% of SOAR youth have an idea of a possible career.

In ASPIRE the juniors worked with the College and Career Counselor to prepare for the ACT and are developing their college plans. Helping with these plans means more school visits. This spring the juniors took a tour at St Paul College. There were many questions about different levels of beautician education and the youth were pleasantly surprised at the amount of hands-on training offered, from automotive to surgical prep to pharmacy technicians. One youth was wondered “what is the difference is between a 2-year auto mechanic and a 4-year?” The seniors have completed at least five college applications and all of them have been accepted into at least one college!

100% of ASPIRE and ELEVATE seniors have been accepted into at least one college.

Helping youth envision their future is a privilege that Banyan Community takes very seriously. Thinking through post-secondary education options and careers is a weighty and hard decision. We are grateful to share the journey with these youth and their families.