WHAT IS EXPLORING?
Exploring exists to teach important life and career skills to young people from all backgrounds through immersive career experiences and mentorship provided by community and business leaders like you. Together, we equip young people with character, leadership and life skills that can be used both today and in their future careers.
Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. Businesses and community organizations initiate a career-specific Exploring post or club by matching their people and organizational resources to the career interests of youth in the community. The result is a program of interactive activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.
We work with thousands of local, regional, and national businesses and organizations to deliver the Exploring programs representing hundreds of different career fields.
Exploring provides exciting activities and one-on-one mentorship for youth looking to discover their future. Whether you’re a local organization looking to strengthen the community or a young person wanting to uncover the possibilities of your future, Exploring is a great place to start.
We are always working with companies and organizations to establish new Career Exploring programs across the country. Consider these benefits:
- Year round, local support staff
- Proven and flexible program model
- Nationally recognized and endorsed
- Positive community involvement
- Pipeline for future employees
- Positively impact youth development
- Employee professional growth
- Strong local and national support
- General liability insurance coverage
WANT TO SAVE MONEY?
Consider your employee turnover rate. If Exploring could provide you the ability to pre-screen future applicants AND train them in a manner that prepares them to work specifically for your company, would you consider it?
Now consider the cost savings. The National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (one of our supporters) is pleased to offer the Cost of Employee Turnover Calculator - a free tool to help nonprofit organizations better understand the “hidden” costs of turnover. Spoiler alert: Turnover costs your organization more than you think!
POST OR CLUB?
If your business or organization is considering the impact you can have on young people in your community through the Exploring program, the first thing you should discuss with the head of the organization is which age group(s) you'd like to work with. Exploring clubs serve middle schoolers in 6th - 8th grades. Exploring posts serve 14 - 20 year olds. Both programs are co-ed.
Ready to learn more? Click on the Get Involved button in the top right corner!
5 PROGRAM EMPHASES
- Provide hands-on, interactive career experiences
- Develop potential contacts that may broaden employment options
- Develop basic life skills using the Exploring Activity Library
- Facilitate positive social interactions
- Encourage the skill and desire to help others
- Gain a keen respect for the basic rights of others
- Help make ethical choices
- Facilitate service learning opportunities
- Allow youth leaders to coordinate your program activities
- Facilitate leadership training with Exploring's training materials
TOP 10 YOUTH CAREER INTERESTS
- Registered Nurse/Nurse Practitioner
- Professional Athlete
- Mechanical Engineer
A career interest survey was fielded in 2017 to more than 36,000 students from 6th to 12th grade to gauge interest in more than 200 career options. This top 10 list ranges from in-demand medical positions like nurses and physicians to more aspirational positions like professional athletes, singers, and actors. The survey also revealed that childhood ambitions evolve with maturity. Middle school respondents were twice as likely as their twelfth grade counterparts to select careers in athletics and the arts, while interest in health and business careers increased as respondents entered high school.
Students & Parents
Exploring is a unique career exploration program for young men and women ages 10 - 20. The program provides students with an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of career fields and network with professionals already working in those fields. You get hands-on experience to determine whether or not a particular career field is right for you. You develop valuable networking contacts with professionals working in your selected career fields, and you get to know other youth with your same interests and aspirations.
Exploring is the first step in identifying career possibilities while having fun in an exciting and informal environment.
- Strong personal values and character development
- Build self-worth and self-confidence
- Leadership skills training and development
- Social development
- Unique career experiences, networking & internships
- Personal growth
- Volunteer opportunities
- Group collaboration and teamwork
- Scholarships available only to Explorers
- Add Exploring to your college, job and scholarship applications!
Most Exploring programs align with the school calendar and begin in the fall, while some also offer summer activities, annual conferences, internships and other events. Most meet once or twice a month throughout the year.
Learn more about our career-specific programs by clicking the CAREER FIELDS tab above. The following are examples of some of the most popular Exploring programs across the country:
TOP CAREER CHOICES AMONG YOUTH
Accountant / CPA
Attorney / lawyer
Author / Poet
Barber / Cosmetologist
Computer Engineer / Technician
Fashion Designer / Model
Federal Law Enforcement Agent
Health Care (general)
Medicine – Sports
Small Business Owner / Entrepreneur
Each year local Exploring offices administer career interest surveys in cooperation with middle and high schools. Students select their top two career choices from over 100 career options. This information is then used to invite students to join local Exploring programs. There are currently more than 5,000 Exploring clubs and posts across the country.