“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”- Prov. 16:9
For most of us, after we graduated high school, college was the only option before us. It was expected for us to go in order to have a career. For many of the young people in South Dallas, a four year university just isn’t the best option. This is usually due to a lack of preparedness by their school and few relationships with people who have completed a college education. While some of our young people could go straight to a university and flourish, it’s such a small number that we wanted to provide other options you can discuss with your protege.
Different post-HS options include:
These provide a more cost effective route to explore further education, and many DCCCD (Dallas County Community College District) schools have remedial classes to help new students– remedial classes may allow your protege to catch up to their more college-ready peers in a more supportive environment. Many kids from the inner-city who attend a four-year university are intimidated by the more prepared students and may fail or drop out.
This could be a springboard to transferring to a 4 year University. If your protege is successful at the community college level, he or she may then transfer into a four year university to finish a degree.
Examples of vocational school careers: plumbers, electricians, mechanic, barber, hair stylist, HVAC, Dental Hygienist, computer technician
Beware of For-Profit Universities — many technical colleges (ITT Tech, Devry, Brown Mackie, Everest, Carrington, etc) are for-profit, and their practices may be predatory. Some of these schools make money by taking advantage of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Remember: it’s important to research different education options, and not all programs are created equal! Help your protege consider where to attend school if they decide to go the vocational school route.
Some community colleges have technical programs; one non-profit college with technical degrees we found is called Remington College (we don’t otherwise know a ton about its programs). Feel free to schedule a meeting with your Coordinator if you’d like to talk more about vocational school options!
Bridge Builders (or other organizations) will help with workforce readiness
Though not always popular or the safest route, many young people have found a career in military service. The structure of the military can be a great fit for some young people. If your protege is interested in the military, you may want to help them look up that specific branch’s different requirements (physical, health, education, etc).
This may seem like an old idea but there are still many professions that will allow an apprentice to accompany them
If you have a friend who has a profession that your protege is interested in, consider what an apprenticeship could look like.