Summer Program Introduces Preteens, Teens to Potential Career Paths


This summer, YouthQuest high school students attended Baker College where they learned about manufacturing, robotics and lasers during the first week and health science careers during the second week. They used 3D printers and learned CAD design during their first week and participated in activities such as anatomy dissection and DNA extraction while learning about health science careers in their second week.

Recent graduate, Vivica Knight, enjoyed being exposed to different opportunities that you don’t find in the classroom.

“My favorite part was dissecting frogs and learning about different types of lasers,” says Knight.

YouthQuest middle school students were exposed to various types of careers through the Genesee Career Institute (GCI). Different programs included:

  • Digital photography and the power of print. Students learned how to take and print photos, as well as the process of screen printing.
  • Introduction to construction. Students learned the basic principles and safety of general construction.
  • Learning to code using robots and drones. Students used programming tools to manipulate robots and drones.
  • Introduction to auto repair. Students learned the basics of repairing vehicles.

Raven Hullum, who just finished eighth grade, knew before attending GCI that she wanted to study performing or visual arts, but after the last two weeks, she realized that she could make it her future.

“I would consider a career in graphic design,” says Hullum. “I liked working with Photoshop and being able to print out the finished designs on different materials.”

Middle and high school students had the opportunity to explore these potential career paths through Summer on the Road.

“It is important for students to start thinking about their careers before graduation,” says Cheryl Adkins, program director for YouthQuest. “We want to expose teens to a wide variety of careers including some they may not have considered before.”

Summer on the Road combines fun summer activities with career readiness, financial literacy and service learning. The six-week program will conclude this month with a field trip to Toronto, the second largest city in Canada.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

Stay up to date on YouthQuest by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Sign up for the Afterschool Download email