NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A citywide effort is underway this week to help high school students figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
Once 16-year-old Alyssa Collier, of East Flatbush, graduates high school, she knows one thing is for sure.
“The sky is the limit,” she said.
But when it comes to what her career will be — that’s a big question mark.
“I never really decided what I want to be when I get older,” she told CBSN New York’s John Dias.
So the high school sophomore is eager to learn about different jobs during the first ever Career Discovery Week, a time students get to absorb as much information as possible right from professionals in innovative industries.
“It’s narrowing down what I want to do,” student Damazy Koczwara, of Crown Heights, said.
It’s the organization Partnership For New York City‘s newest initiative to help close the achievement gap for minority and low-income students. Organizers say they’ve seen a growing demand for younger people to get into the workforce early on.
“Whether that’s through going and getting an associate degree, getting a four-year degree or going to a technical training course, and our members are really excited about inspiring the next generation,” said Merrill Pond, executive vice president of Partnership for New York City.
The Parternship teamed up with 180 companies to host events in all five boroughs. At one event at Brooklyn Navy Yard, entrepreneurs and other professionals gave students tours of their facilities. Students also got career advice during panel discussions.
“When you say you’re going to do something, you have to do something, and I think that holds across all jobs and all careers,” said Douglas Steiner, chairman of Steiner Studios.
Students were also able to ask any questions they wanted.
“When y’all was trying to pursue y’all dreams, did y’all have an issue with, like, making time for family or having fun?” one student asked.
“You absolutely have to prioritize and you have to sacrifice,” said Deirdre Quinn, co-founder and CEO of Lafayette 148 New York.
“Straight out of college is when you honestly have to work the hardest,” said Shaun Stewart, chief executive officer of New Lab.
That advice quickly rubbed off on 10th grader Maria Yaeuao, of Sunset Park.
“You have to put in effort, and even, like, the first couple of years, you probably won’t sleep enough but that will pay off,” she said.
A week-long initiative aiming to spark life-long career achievements.