I’m getting closer to graduating but I don’t see many opportunities.

I’m getting closer to graduating but I don’t see many opportunities. I want to work with Native youth but I don’t know what I would go to college for. What should I do?

This is such and exiting time. Congratulations on this wonderful accomplishment. There lots of opportunities that are out there, if you know what you are looking for. Each person (no matter their age) needs to select the most appropriate path for themselves based on career interests, learning style, finances, learning environment, location, course and program offerings, and other factors. With your family you can will determine your own priorities. Typical education/training options include:

  • apprenticeship
  • technical school
  • on-the-job training
  • military training
  • community colleges
  • four-year colleges/universities.

This journey starts with a self-evaluation. Some questions to consider are:

  • What are my primary skills and abilities?
  • What are my most important interests and values?
  • Of my wide range of abilities and interests, which ones do I wish to incorporate into my work, and which ones will be part of my family/leisure/community life?
  • What is my most effective learning style?
  • And, more specifically in regard to the learning environment there are several considerations: size of school, location, cost, major fields, campus environment, financial aid, selection criteria, ROTC, athletics, and more

Because you want to work with Tribal youth, I would suggest you contact your tribe or local tribal organization and see what opportunities they might have, schedule and appointment and ask them what skills they are looking for and what resources they have available to the community. The best advice I ever receive from a mentor about professional development, was to Network. Networking means meeting people, talking and listening.

I hope that helps and good luck.

Auntie Manda

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