Here at The Fearey Group, employees are encouraged to take an active role in the community by engaging and partnering with various organizations they are passionate about. I for one am very keen on initiatives surrounding youth education and mentoring. Therefore, this past month, my fellow colleague, Heather Fernandez (whom also shares in this passion), and I had the opportunity to volunteer with CHOICES Education Group, a not-for-profit mentoring network based in Seattle.
We first learned about CHOICES through Aaron Blank (CEO) – whom had been introduced to the organization’s founder through a community event. Excited to learn more and get involved, Heather and I attended a couple online trainings and then eventually co-led our own seminar for local youth here in Seattle.
So what exactly does CHOICES do? Well, CHOICES is an interactive, decision-making workshop that empowers teens to achieve academic success in pursuit of their career and life aspirations. Developed much like a guest mentoring seminar, presenters from all professional backgrounds are paired with 7th and 8th-grade classrooms all over the greater Seattle area. From there presenters lead sessions focused around real-world exercises on academic self-discipline, time and money management and goal setting.
In two 50-minute sessions, Heather and I took a class of 8th grade students at Catharine Blaine School in Magnolia through a series of scenarios, decision making exercises and participatory models that sparked their thinking and encouraged inspiration for who they want to become later in life.
The goal of the seminars was to help teens envision the true impact of their early life decisions as well as help teens discover how they can take charge of their lives. The mission of CHOICES Education Group is to empower students with vital tools that will increase their career and life opportunities.
Heather and I had such a wonderful experience volunteering with CHOICES and are looking forward to participating in the program again next year. If you’re interested in volunteering, you can find more information at www.choices.org/getinvolved.htm.