The unemployment rate for people age 16 to 24 is currently at 15% – more than twice the national average for the full working population. Yet few people think of youth unemployment as a crisis.
The crisis of youth unemployment impacts not only the present and future. When young people don’t see a path to employment for themselves, and when they’re not aware of an array of future career choices available, they are much less likely to invest their energies in school, and much more likely to adopt risky or delinquent behaviors and ultimately, experience chronic unemployment. Teenagers who see no career options are less motivated to succeed. The youth unemployment problem today isn’t just about today—it’s about the future as well.
Young people who are engaged with positive role models and equipped to navigate careers are more likely to see school as relevant, complete high school and post-secondary credentials, and transition to employment that launches careers. That’s one of the reasons why Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest is very proud to be one of 22 Goodwill agencies around the country chosen to be part of an initiative to expand Goodwill’s successful national mentoring program to assist youth in the highest risk situations.
The GoodGuides® program serves youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who want to learn about careers and prepare for success.. It helps them build career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work. This new phase of Goodwill GoodGuides is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant will provide for additional training and mentor support, advocacy and teaching roles for mentors, expanded parent engagement and more structured activities
There are thousands of teens in the Spokane area who could benefit greatly from the help of a mentor. The GoodGuides program matches adult mentors from various career backgrounds with groups of teens, providing career exploration, encouragement, business site visits, and more. You might say these mentors act as guides, helping teens navigate the sometimes overwhelming world of post-high school options.
By donating as little as one hour a week, volunteers can help young people in our community make positive decisions that will set them on the right track and lay the groundwork for lifelong careers.