The College and Career Readiness and Educational Opportunities Project/Youth Career Connect in Santa Cruz County is implementing its first CREO Pathways Mentoring Program. The experience is bringing together local community members, business and industry professionals, and high school students who are ready to take a closer look at what life may be like after graduation. A series of three workshops facilitated by the Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office and Lead Local, an organization from Tucson, AZ, are currently being held at the Santa Cruz Center.
CREO Pathways Mentoring, designed collaboratively with the input from mentors, focuses on the needs of our youth, as well as the bright spots and barriers that make Santa Cruz County unique. The mentoring opportunity is open to CREO juniors and seniors at Nogales and Rio Rico High Schools. Approximately 30 students and 15 mentors engaged in the fall series of workshops that took place September 19th, October 22nd, and November 14th. The two-hour gatherings involved all in timed activities that encouraged purposeful story-telling, personal style exploration, college & career pathways, school & workplace culture, and practice at networking. The goal of the program was to identify student’s strengths and interests, make positive connections between students and potential employers, and create career growth opportunities such as internships.
Many of the students did not know what college & career opportunities are available right here in Santa Cruz County. Representatives from the Produce Industry, Healthcare Services, Government, Business and Finance, Engineering and Manufacturing, Law Enforcement, Education, and Mining shared their stories and provided guidance and advice with regard to post-secondary education and being resilient on their pathway. The program will continue in the spring of 2019 with a new group of students and will take place at Rio Rico and Nogales High School. For more information about the program, or if you would like to volunteer to be a mentor, please contact Maya Donnelly, CREO Program Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.