Next Gen is a Charlotte Works program that helps young adults (ages 16 to 24) facing employment barriers to gain work experience, enter the job market, complete educational goals and prepare for a career. CPCC and ResCare provides the program for out-of-school participants. MeckEd is the program provider serving 11th and 12th graders at Garinger, Harding, Independence, Vance, and West Charlotte High Schools.
The 3-D Project, known as Dreamers, Doers, Destiny, is an effort to help with the economic mobility crisis in the Charlotte area by showing youth and young adults how not only to be dreamers but doers with an emphasis on broadening their horizons to explore various career pathways that align with their interests. WTVI General Manager Amy Burkett says the television station is doing their part to help be a catalyst for change in the community by getting students on the right path. “The students I work with ask great questions. They’re so passionate. They want to learn about finding a career that’s right for them.”
Over the course of two days, the young adults learned more about television production skills. Through television production projects they learned multiple career possibilities and soft skills for success. Some of those skills include, interviewing techniques, problem solving, and public speaking. Participants also learned how to research, write, deliver, and record their own, “I Have a Dream” speech. 24- year-old Nadia Vidalles has dreams of pursuing a career in healthcare. “I want to be a mid-wife and to go back to my home country of Mexico, to a village where I grew up in and provide clinics, workshops and classes for all the residents at the village; so, they can have a better understanding of the medical field and the first response, the basic stuff.”
20 year -old Markus Jackson is on the path to becoming an electrician, but his dream includes helping others with their economic mobility. “I would have jobs for felons. Everybody makes mistakes, some people learn later, some people learn now, but everyone deserves a chance. I was arrested a lot as a juvenile. I was 14 and stopped getting arrested at 18,” he explained.
Vidalles, Jackson, and other participants say they learned a lot from the 3-D program. “I’ve learned that in order to be a leader, you have to find yourself first. I feel like it’s the number one thing you should do if you want to be a leader. I think we should all want to be leaders,” said Vidalles. Jackson was named the class co-valedictorian along with Jasmin Powell. The two empowered the class by pushing others to reach for the stars by using the lessons learned. “I learned with hard work and dedication that anything is possible,” said Jackson. Powell summed it up with, “dream and do!”
Check out the “I have a Dream” speeches here.
The young adults that took part in the 3D project are an example of Charlotte Works’ Careers4All strategy that ensures all youth and young adults are career ready and fostering development of an aligned workforce. For more on Careers4All visit our website.