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Cultivating Career Awareness

NS4ed Career Stories Highlight Women's Voices

Cultivating career awareness impacts equity because if you can see it, you can be it. It is also true that if a student does not see, they more than likely will not go in that direction. Students who aren’t ‘career aware’ do not know their possible career path options. They may not know a particular career exists or how to go into that occupation. Many students are not exposed to local labor market data or information on specific high-value careers from their area (occupations associated with both high-growth and high-wage attributes.)  With this in mind, NS4ed embedded hundreds of career videos and authentic career stories into our Pathway2Careers Program, providing education with destination for career-connected learning.  

Personal narratives from diverse perspectives have the power to motivate and provide inspiration. 

Suppose a young woman sitting in an 8th-grade science class can see and hear from a professional women scientist like Dr. Nicole Tatman or Dr. Joann Mudge. In that case, that young learner may feel inspired and motivated to persevere in biology. Or, perhaps, a young student might connect to our interviewees when they reflect on their high school years. Possibly they will pick up on the excitement in Shawnna Read-Richards’ voice as she describes being in a dual-enrollment program and graduating at the top of her class with “all of my prerequisites to enter into the nursing program —straight out of high school!” Maybe seeing NM State Police Officer Marissa Bartmann pulled over in her cruiser, taking time out of her busy day to share her career pathway story, they might start thinking about the steps they want to take towards their career. Alternatively, they might take Itza Sosa’s advice and sign up for a financial literacy elective class; since they’d gain finance and accounting tools that Sosa tells them they can use throughout their lifetime.  

One student might follow the path of Lori Leyba Martinez by signing up for on-the-job training or enrolling in an internship program. Maybe through engaging in the Pathway2Careers Algebra Curriculum, a future electrician will be inspired by the experienced CTE educator and leader Denise Ojeda. That young student might hear Ojeda calling for young women to find their pathways earlier and that math is relevant. They might see something in Ojeda that reminds them of themself, and they, too, might follow her into what was previously considered an “untraditional” career for women. After being inspired by Ojeda, perhaps a teacher and student, together, could use the Labor Market Navigator tool, check the “Perkins V Report” option, select the career cluster group “Architecture & Construction,” and pull up a list of high-value, quality trade occupations to explore. In another scenario, a young woman (much like one of our very own NS4ed research assistants), would listen to attorney Dorene A. Kuffer and find their calling, gaining the confidence and inspiration necessary for them to submit their law school applications. Much like Kuffer, maybe they, too, want to go into a profession and gain the legal skills necessary to “help people.”  

We are enthusiastic about the possibilities that cultivating career awareness affords and how it can contribute to more equitable education and a more diverse American workforce.  This is why NS4ed highlights women’s voices in our products and solutions throughout March (Women’s History Month) and all year long. 

Please join us in sharing career stories with your learners. Watch our “- Career Stories – Women’s Voices” highlight video. Full-length interviews are also available on the NS4ed YouTube Channel. Additional, highlight videos featuring career stories connected to Instructional Technology, STEM, and more, are forthcoming. NS4ed is committed to equitable education and inclusive content. You can be sure we will share other unique women’s voices connected to hundreds of careers.  

#womenshistory #pathway2careers #womenintrades #professionalwomen #womensvoices 

Enjoy sharing!