Career Dreams Really Do Come True; Grant Helps Set Young People on Path to Success

Article excerpt

Byline: Lyndia Grant, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Parry Elliott plans to attend college and then become a family lawyer to work with people in the community so he can give back.

His brother, Triston Elliott, who attends Seed Public Charter School, dreams of becoming a filmmaker and movie producer after completing college.

Patrice Haney, who attends Anacostia High School and has a 4.0 grade point average, plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania and then become a computer technician.

Kyle Jackson, who goes to McKinley Technology High School, wants to become a sports announcer and work on television as a commentator after finishing college.

These are just a few of the students who were given the confidence and skill sets to pursue their dreams after participating in the Raising Voices From the Village youth leadership training program, which is sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Thirty students from three D.C. high schools along with their friends and family celebrated the students' achievements on June 28 at the All Nations Baptist Church in Northeast, where they talked about their newfound goals and passions.

Earlier this year while coordinating a black history program for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in my professional capacity as an events planner, I came up with the idea for the training program to better prepare black students headed to college and the workplace - and pay them in the process.

I based my objective and curriculum for the program on my experience as an entrepreneur and as a participant in my District-based family business, Critique Career Services Inc., which taught effective job search techniques and strategies in the 1980s.

People would ask for resume services, counseling sessions and interview training. It troubled me that the majority of my clients had earned degrees in fields they no longer wanted to pursue, leaving them confused about what to do or where to go.

Since then, whenever I speak at a school career day program, I talk about the need to set better goals. Earlier this year, the Kellogg Foundation awarded a grant in partnership with ASALH that gave me an opportunity to help young people choose the right career path.

Sylvia Y. Cyrus, executive director of ASALH, explained the importance of training programs for the intellectual and social development of youths. …