Smart Futures is an organization on a mission! Their mission is to prepare students graduating from a Pennsylvania high school for college and career success. The non-profit organization was founded in 2005 and is located on Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. David Mosey, executive director of Smart Futures, noticed the absence of a curriculum embedded focus on career paths in the education system. The organization offers students skill evaluation, career interest, and helpful opportunities that guide them toward accomplishing goals. With the help of teachers the organization is able to inject career focus into the classroom both motivating and guiding learning and career development.
Smart Futures is proud to say that their mission is to help students “get real” about who they are, where they are going, and how they get there. Each of the Smart Futures programs is aligned with the Pennsylvania academic standards for career education and work.
One Program offered by Smart Futures is e-Mentoring. This innovative mentoring program over comes the boundaries of traditional mentoring, such as time constraints and legal security of underage kids. The e-Mentoring program is targeted at 10th grade students. Smart Futures urges students to start planning what they will do after high school, and before senior year. At the completion of the program each student has a personalized college and career plan which will help him or her when preparing for their future.
UPMC, the state’s second-largest employer, volunteered to promote the e-Mentoring program. UPMC has also encouraged their 50,000 workers to become a mentor. The mentors are matched up with students over the Internet and help them plan for their future. The program shows students the path they need to take to be successful in their future career. The mentoring program stands as a great way to connect professionals in the field with students in the area in a way that is rewarding for both. Smart Futures has recruited mentors from all professions around the state and has also teamed up with Community College of Allegheny and the Bidwell Training Center.
Smart Futures also offers several other education- and career- related programs including Keys to Work, My Career Journey, and Financial Literacy 101. These programs are available to all students including gifted and special education students. The ultimate goal is to have a plan for every student and provide stepping-stones to help them achieve their goals. More than 90,000 students have benefited from the Smart Futures program.
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