Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Monthly Career Day Teaches Teens Valuable Life Lessons

Career Day presentation

Planning for the future may seem like a far-off task for most teens. But for youth in Boys Town New York programs and services, the age of 18 can approach much more quickly than expected. That's why it's so important for them to plan for the future and learn valuable life skills sooner rather than later.

Boys Town New York recognizes this pivotal turning point from adolescence to adulthood and provides the necessary education for youth to succeed in life. As part of this ongoing effort, James Hill, Boys Town New York's Development Director, recently worked with the BTNY Young Leader Council's volunteer committee to set up a monthly career day for youth. The concept behind this event was to provide youth from the site's Intervention and Assessment (I & A) Services program with valuable information about planning for the future as well as life skills and future connections to help them transition into adulthood.

Since starting the project last September, Hill has held monthly career days at the Bergen Street I & A Home and hosted an assortment of guest speakers from numerous industries.

Every year, hundreds of troubled youth, ages 10 to 18, find help through Boys Town Intervention and Assessment Homes in New York. Many suffer from a variety of emotional and behavioral problems, and often have the misconception that they don't have anything in common with the business community.

Hill recognizes this misconception and begins each career day with a networking/ice breaker game to ease the youths' apprehension. While they enjoy pizza, guest speakers and youth walk around, meet three people they have never met before and find out three things they have in common with each new person. It's a great way for the youth to make connections with speakers from different industries such as construction, insurance, sales, business, the arts, fashion design and many others.

After the attendees finish their pizza, they move to a question-and-answer session during which an informal panel of three to four professionals answers simple questions about their career path.

"I feel this event benefits everyone: the youth by exposing them to opportunities they might not have known existed, and the volunteers who want an opportunity to contribute to the next generation," Hill said.

Brian Josephs, a recent career day speaker, said his top three favorite things about speaking to the youth included the opportunity to get them to think about their futures, helping them build confidence through networking and helping them learn the valuable life skill of handwriting thank you cards. ​