My mouth dropped when I saw the unemployment rate among youth: over 20%, according to the New York Times, more than double the national average.
So, what are we doing to prepare our teens for the real, working world? What are you doing to prepare them? Our children are, after all, the drivers of our future, aren't they?
Many parents have told me that they're more concerned about their child's successful transition from the fake world of school to the real world of business and life... and that's why we've started SuperFutures.org and are now extending a helping hand to parents with our first scholarships.
I wish I had learned many of the skills teens will be exposed to at the upcoming SuperFutures Youth Leadership & Social Entrepreneurship Program when I was their age. Can you imagine hearing from people like Mahatma Gandhi's grandson, Joel Benenson, Obama's Senior Strategist of his winning campaign, Yvonne Davis of the Huffington Post or Joshua Weiss, Director of the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard University? Even Marc Weiner, host of Nickelodeon's long-running Weinerville will be helping students learn more about themselves.
Stop and think: In today's world, it's essential that our teens learn how to think globally, understand what drives them, work effectively with others, and have an impact. Aren't those who get hired or get into their school of choice likely to be those who can demonstrate an ability to have an impact, to create positive change? Now more than ever, the answer is yes.
Today's students are the next generation of leaders but we need to equip them now with the tools, skills and real-world experience that will enable them to have an impact. SuperFutures is designed to do that. We're committed to helping young, motivated people succeed.
If you or your teen is interested in a SuperFutures Scholarship, read on. To be notified of future SuperFuture events and get helpful tips for teen success in college and career planning, please sign-up here.
OK, now for the SuperFutures Scholarships. The scholarship covers the full five-day SuperFutures Program at Pace University in Purchase, New York August 8-12, including meals, speakers, and events (the standard tuition is $2,995). The Program - featuring workshops, speakers and an exclusive exchange with some 50 Chinese teens -- will teach students to turn their passions and knowledge of global issues into real-world impact by developing their own social entrepreneurial ventures. Students will leave with a Personal Action Plan and video or essay about their experience, which can be used in college or job applications. If students wish to stay in accommodations at Pace University and also attend the three-day Youth Assembly at the United Nations August 5-7, immediately preceding the SuperFutures Leadership Program, there is a fee of $795. Scholarship students not opting for accommodations will need to provide their own transportation to the daily events.
SuperFutures will offer scholarships based on quality and need to students ages 14-18 in the Tri-State Area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) or others with self-provided airfare. Students should have an average grade of B or higher, a demonstrated interest in community service or giving back, and financial need. Interested candidates should immediately request an application by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org as the final deadline is July 17th. In the application, students will be asked to answer the question: "Why would I like to participate in the 2009 SuperFutures Program and what do I hope to gain from this experience?"
So, get started on the path to creating a SuperFuture by thinking about your answer and requesting an application. To learn more about the program, visit www.superfutures.org.
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