Leah Davidson organizes online career workshops for underprivileged high school and university students during COVID

What was the goal of your project?

The goal of the project was to help provide career exposure and guidance to underprivileged high school and university students through talks, online resources, mentorship, etc. We were able to achieve a lot of the goals and expand a website focused on project-based learning to add additional features/tools for students (video conferencing, project management tools, job search coaching, etc.) and we are still continuing to work on the project and expand to reach a wider audience. We are hoping to raise additional funding and recruit more volunteers moving forward to meet the needs of high schools and universities continuing with remote work-integrated learning.

How did the community receive your project?

The community was very receptive and interested in participating. At first, high schools and universities were going mostly virtual, which made it hard to reach students, as the schools were so overwhelmed with the transition. We started then reaching out to students directly through social media and forming a Facebook group to keep in touch. The students gave us input on what kind of topics they were most interested in hearing about and we were able to directly learn about their needs through online surveys.

What did you learn as you planned your project? Were there any changes you did not plan for?

We had to adapt to COVID in the middle of everything, so we transitioned everything online, offering webinars and virtual panels instead of going directly into the schools. We had to transition our budget in order to hire a developer to build the website to host the projects and webinars, and we had to move quickly to get resources up-and-running for students who had lost summer jobs/internships.

If you could do things differently, what would you do? What were the opportunities for learning you experienced?

I think I would have leveraged social media and digital marketing earlier. There are new emerging channels to communicate with youth like Tiktok, Instagram Stories, etc. to spread messages and build communities that I had never thought of exploring, but would be open to looking into in the future, for other social projects.

Do you have any suggestion or advice you would like us to share with other youth who are accessing the grant program?

I would highly recommend giving it a shot. The P2P team is always eager to help and the process is straightforward and well-organized!

Leah Davidson, Passion to Purpose Participant

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