I want to create a site that helps kids see the various different possibilities that exist for their futures – so they dream big…with more content and career paths to fill out their vision.
By helping kids to develop tangible dreams, I believe they will be motivated to achieve more than society thinks they can - because all kids have the potential to be great. And being great means more than being a professional athlete or the President.
To help kids achieve these dreams, we must overcome many barriers, but the one of the biggest impediments – not knowing about the possibilities that are out there – is one that the Internet is perfectly suited to destroy.
I believe that even though we have big imaginations, we also need tangible content to fill our imaginations as we envision our futures. Kids don’t only dream about being an astronaut or doctor because they sound like cool jobs – too many kids don’t know that being an actuary or a computer programmer is even a possibility.
In the past, people mainly learned about career paths from their families and neighbors. Over time, television and other media helped expose more people to more ideas.
However, even though this partially opened the door, many kids still have no idea how many different paths and options are out there waiting for them. Unless they have the right parents and the right schooling – as victors of the so-called lottery of birth – too many kids don’t even know what their options are.
This should change.
Given the power of the Internet, kids should not be limited by geography or background as they learn to dream about their futures.
The solution starts with a simple idea:
Create a site where people describe their background and careers in video format. The site would bring people as varied as an older woman who is a career-long poet, to a young guy working on Wall Street, together – to put a face with a career path and a story. By giving tangible examples, it will provide the seeds of ideas to fill the daydreams that start to become potential career paths as kids think about their futures.
Over time, if enough different stories are collected, the site could become a repository for kids to find ideas about the schools, backgrounds and training that lead to the myriad of different destinations people in America end up in today.
This idea is rough, so I would appreciate any feedback as I hope to develop it at some point.
Some of the obvious challenges include:
- organizing the content
- developing good interview formats that kids can relate to
- distributing the content – getting kids attention.
Besides developing a simple website the concept also lends itself to additional add-on concepts like:
- Direct mentorship
- Targeting a broader audience – to help break down barriers of judgment – i.e. by showing personalized videos – putting a face with a “story” – I believe people will realize that even people with very different backgrounds and careers have a lot in common.