Choosing a college and a career path is one of the most important decisions for a teenager. Many young people, however, don't know what career options they have and what it means to work in certain fields. The lack of career counseling in schools impedes our society to absorb and benefit from the talents and the energy of younger generations.
More than half of young people, aged between 14 and 34 years old, plan to leave Romania, in the interest of studies or work, according to surveys conducted by the Romanian Centre for Migration. Young people find it difficult to succeed at home and to find work that matches their aspirations and training.
To address this problem, high school students need to receive counselling in choosing a college, with the prospect of a future career in mind. On the other hand, market players in Romania should communicate more often their needs to decision makers, in order to adjust the education system.
This is a pilot program, designed to provide career mentoring to high school students, with the direct involvement of professionals from various fields, as mentors. Our goal is to engage min. 1000 high school students, across the country, in career counselling sessions, with the participation of 100 different mentors.
Our targeted group is formed of students between 14 -19 years old, 40% of which will be from small and medium sized towns in Romania.
First, we will invite different professionals to become career mentors in this project. We have already obtained support from a number of people from the legal, medical, IT and engineering fields.
Then, we will schedule meetings between mentors and groups of students, via partnerships with Student Councils and high schools across the country. Each participating group will be able to select the mentors they would like to connect with and prepare a list of questions for them.
To also benefit the students that we'll be unable to reach, each mentor will be invited to write a brief essay in which to describe what an usual day at work, in his/her field, looks like.
Through this project we want to connect students with professionals from different fields, to help them choose a college and a career field. High school teenagers need role models to motivate them to continue their studies, with the prospect of a future career in mind.
We aim to reach a minimum of 1000 students with this mentoring program, from different high schools in the country. Of these, 30% will come from small towns with low opportunities and high dropout rates.
This project contributes to strengthening the links between education and employment, connecting the education system to the market realities and helping teachers and students better understand what skills should be cultivated at school to meet market needs.
The project also encourages educational institutions to ask decision-makers to integrate career counseling into the curriculum, in order to provide young people with the practical experience needed to facilitate a smooth transition from education and training systems to the labor market;
This is a pilot project that brings career support and mentoring where it is most needed: in schools. Students are encouraged to continue their studies and look for career opportunities in Romania, thus curbing the exodus of the young generation.
The project team consists of four young people aged between 27 to 31, that decided to seek opportunities in Romania, in spite of the incentives to emigrate. Three of them work in the NGO environment and one of them is a deputy councilor in the Parliament.
Funding requested from Civic Europe