From left to right: CfY Staff Members Iafay Latif, Hayley Nolan (What’s Next organizer), Sarah Larson, Wyatt Thomas, and Kendra Steiner
By Hayley Nolan

Our vision at Community for Youth is to help students graduate from high school with the skills needed to be successful in life. This also includes career readiness for post-graduation. To ensure this vision, we held our annual “What’s Next?” career, resource, and job-readiness fair at South Lake High School on May 16 and 18. At the fair, we exposed our students to a variety of professions and jobs, and gave them the opportunity to engage and learn the prerequisite for success from professionals.

While we would love to take credit for the event, it was really our amazing volunteers who made it a success. We had over 90 volunteers from all different professional backgrounds, including firefighters, nurses, scientists, photographers, preschool teachers, and many more. The volunteers were open and honest in sharing their work experience, skills, knowledge, and unique career paths. So, whether a high school sophomore just starting to think about the future, or a senior heading for graduation in a couple weeks, students had the opportunity to have all their career questions answered by leaders in our community.

In addition to exploring different career paths at tables, our students also had the chance to learn practical skills. Mock interview sessions allowed our students to practice their interview skills and gain knowledge around things like body language and appropriate dress. And finally, a financial literacy course with banking professionals taught students things such as the difference between checking and savings and how to create a budget. It’s never too late to open a saving account!

Thank you students, mentors, community members, Board members, and staff for making “What’s Next?” an amazing success!