CITY (Connecting, Inspiring, and Trailblazing with Youth) Expeditions is an exciting partnership of CityPathways and The Knowledge House that helps youth from under-resourced communities know and navigate the world of work in their cities. Our cities have extraordinary assets but they are often unknown, inaccessible, and under-optimized. CityExpeditions’ goal is to expose high-potential but under-exposed youth to the ecosystem of employment opportunities at a formative time in their identity formation and at an age when they can make choices that put them on a positive trajectory. Our model demystifies professional expectations, demonstrates the skills and knowledge necessary for success, and cultivates young participants’ interest, enthusiasm, and commitment to careers that create mobility.
CITY Expeditions currently matches high schoolers from the South Bronx with college-age mentors from their community for learning trips throughout NYC, broadening exposure to and understanding of tech careers while supporting participants (both high schoolers and their near-peers) in developing skills they see applied in workplaces. While our first iterations have focused on diversifying the tech pipeline, the CITYExpeditions model is well suited to extend into other fast growing career sectors like healthcare.
One of the highlights of our spring 2016 cycle was CITYSaturdays' participation in the citywide Emoti-Con Conference, presenting their Youth Digital Roadmap to over 300 attendees.
Our next phase entails equipping youth with Virtual Reality skills and equipment to record their visits, creating ‘for youth, by youth’ virtual field trips and blogs to enable a broad base of young people to “see” into the world of work and implications for them. We’re eager to work with the Ideathon to get this phase off the ground and to position the model for replication and adaptation in communities globally.