September is traditionally back to school time, so get ready because it’s coming soon.  With some teens in their senior year of high school many may be thinking about what they will be doing when they finish with things like; jobs, vocational/technical/college.  How can you in your libraries help teens get ready?  Here are some links that provide resources and some possible program ideas you may incorporate to help your teens to make some decisions.

College/technical/vocational School Resources:

Accrediting Commission of Careers Schools and Colleges

Campus Pride Campus Pride represents the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.

Casey Family Services – Information on financial aid and scholarships and much more for youth in foster care

College Board and Khan Academy free practice tests and other resources to help prepare for college.

Developing the Next Generation of Latino Leaders  internships, fellowships, scholarships, financial aid information and more for Latino students.

Federal Student Aid information through the U. S. Department of Education  lays out all of the steps in order to think about colleges, identifying colleges and applying to colleges.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) through the U.S. Department of Education a grant program to increase the number of low-income students to succeed in postsecondary education.

Homework Help Programs (webinar) learn how you can offer free or fee based homework help programs in your library.

List of Community Colleges in the United States 

NAACP Youth and College Division

Orphan Foundation of America – Scholarship opportunities and Educational and Training Vouchers for foster youth.

Real Work Matters vocational school database

Trade Schools Guide 

U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecordary Institutions and Programs

U.S. Department of Education Career Colleges and Technical Schools

YALSA College and Career Readiness site

Read More →

Blogger Natalie K., a high school junior from Colorado, will be sharing some of the issues teens today face with YALSAblog readers…if you’re a young person who would like to write for the YALSAblog,‘ let us know!

As a junior in high school, I am constantly hearing college jargon: “scholarships”, “accepted”, “declined”, “in-state”, “out-of-state”. Say any one of these words to someone in my grade, and they will instantly have loads to say.

But ask my peers about a path after high school separate from college, and their lips will go still. A large part of society today views college as the one and only option. It is as if it is the solitary key to unlocking a bright future.

What society fails to realize is that there are other keys. There’s the jagged, brass vocational key. ‘ There’s the shiny, silver military key. There’s the bronzed apprenticeship key. And there’s even the sharp, copper job key.

Realizing that there are other options out there besides college will be a large step in moving away from America’s steep descent into debt. Youth aged 18-23 can make a contribution to society, rather than spiraling downward with college debt with expensive loans and a degree they can’t put to practical use after four years.

There is a common misconception that a college degree will equal a better life, but this doesn’t always prove true anymore. College students are graduating now with a hole in their pocket and a hole in their resume where a more worthwhile degree or more practical experience could be. Meanwhile, many pupils that chose a track separate from college often end up, four years later, with more money than they left high school with…

Ultimately, the door to the future fits all kinds of keys: Jagged, silver. Copper, bronze. Expensive, inexpensive. In-state, out-of-state.

The real question for teens is: what will your key be?